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