When you hear of the destruction a wildfire can initiate, a lot of people wish to help those most impacted by it and the firefighters who are working to serve their community. If your friend or a family member suffered from a wildfire, here are simple things you can do to help them.
Volunteer To let people stay at your house
If you are interested in opening your home to those displaced by the wildfires, you can go to Airbnb and register for the Open Home Program. This program helps individuals and families who have either lost their homes or been evacuated because of the fires.
Maximizing the capability of your home to maintain good air quality
In the case that there is a wildfire happening outside your house and the outside air is hazardous as compared to the air inside your house, make sure that all doors and windows that are connecting your house to the outside air are closed and locked. Know your local air quality levels, and use mechanical ventilation systems to improve air quality to control levels of CO2 inside your house within the healthy limit. Make sure that you have proper meters to measure the levels of CO2 and CO inside your house, so that you can take the necessary steps if they start to go beyond the recommended limits.
Support the debris removal procedure
You can give support in the upcoming months on the days the debris removal team comes to clear the area. That support can be offered by simply being present at the area or hosting some dinner at the end of the day.
Donate a portable air cleaner
HEPA air filtration and cleaning systems that are portable are a great thing to have in your home in order to tackle situations of contaminated outside air during times of wildfire. These air cleaners are well equipped to tackle smoke pollution and keep the air quality inside the house healthy and breathable.
You can invite some of your friends for meals throughout the week. Try not to let any guilt over your home being complete prevent you from opening your home. Take note that your friends might need the stability and beauty your home can give.
Offer clothes shopping with either companionship or childcare
Provide assistance to watch over the children while a woman shops for undergarments or clothing. If she doesn’t have children but have some pets, then ask if you can take her furry friend out. You see, there’s so much shopping to be done after a wildfire, and that’s not a fun shopping. Having a friend alongside can offer a measure of fortitude and solace.
Donate Wildfire Smoke Masks (N95)
Controlling emissions may not be completely in our hands. However, our answer is: the first step being protecting our own lungs against PM 2.5 with the use of n95 anti-pollution masks which are available in both disposable and reusable varieties. The best air filter mask for wildfire smoke is a respirator that works with n95 filters. You can find wildfire smoke masks and filters for less than $10, or subscribe to a pm2.5 filter service with unlimited n95 filters for wildfire smoke protection for only a few dollars per month.
Remember, there are many things where your assistance can be a huge help to those who are suffering or most in need of the kindness of strangers.