“This is a totally unprecedented event for the East Coast,” Ethan Coffel, a climatologist at Syracuse University, told The New York Times. Coffel said he was staying indoors with air purifiers all day, which can help ensure your indoor stays safe. That’s the advice we recommend too, and keeping the air quality good inside is essential.
But for people venturing outdoors, the advice is simple. “The best thing to do is avoid breathing in the dangerous air,” our safety expert Rebecca Edwards says. “That means things like closing the windows to your home and vehicle, and avoiding outside exercise—especially intense activities like running or cycling.”
However, staying inside all day is not easy—especially if you have to run errands, pick up kids from school, or work outside. Rebecca recommends wearing a KN95 or N95 mask and taking it easy. “The harder you breathe, the more of that toxic air you take into your body,” she says.
No matter where you are, checking your area’s air quality index, air pollution score, and forecast is essential. “Use that info to plan for the bad air,” Rebecca says. If you can, work from home, keep kids indoors, and exercise inside “where you can get those steps without the nasty particles!”
The progress of smoke from Canadian wildfires is changing daily, and staying up-to-date with your local weather service and health department is crucial.