Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):
- Before wildfire season:
- Talk to your healthcare provider. Plan how you will protect yourself against wildfire smoke.
- Stock up on medicine. Store a 7 to 10-day supply of prescription medicines in a waterproof, childproof container to take with you if you evacuate.
- Buy groceries you won’t need to cook. Frying or grilling especially can make indoor air pollution worse.
- During a wildfire smoke event:
- Pay attention to air quality reportsexternal icon. Follow instructions about exercise and going outside for “sensitive individuals.”
- Follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
- Think about evacuating if you have trouble breathing or other symptoms that do not get better.
- After a wildfire:
- Do not return home until you are told it is safe to do so.
- Look out for any symptoms. Contact your healthcare provider if you have trouble breathing, shortness of breath, cough that won’t stop, or other symptoms that do not go away. Call 9-1-1 or go right away to an emergency department for medical emergencies.
- Smoke can stay in the air days both indoors and outdoors after wildfires have ended so continue to check local air quality.
Page last reviewed: May 29, 2019
Content source: National Center for Environmental Health