If there’s a flood watch alert in your area, be prepared to change your plans or even evacuate, Mr. Lamers said, especially if you live in a flood-prone area — one close to a body of water or in a low-lying region — or if you live in a basement-level apartment.

A flood warning usually comes with localized instructions, but as a general rule, if you are in a flood-prone area, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends moving to higher ground or a higher floor as soon as you can. Otherwise, stay put and keep an eye on weather alerts on your phone or the radio.

Monitoring the Air Quality Index, particularly as the wildfires in Canada continue to send plumes of smoke across the United States, can help you minimize related health risks.

The A.Q.I. measures levels of ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air to determine a score from 0 to 500; the higher the number, the greater the level of air pollution. An A.Q.I. between 101 and 150 is considered moderate but might present risks for vulnerable groups, including children, adults over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions, like asthma, Dr. Balbus said. And an A.Q.I. above 150 is considered unhealthy for everyone.

High heat can worsen air quality by raising ozone levels, Dr. Balbus said.

The A.Q.I. can be found at AirNow.gov or on the AirNow app, both of which are run by the Environmental Protection Agency and rely on data from multiple observation sites across the country, Mr. Lamers said. The New York Times air quality tracker also features the daily A.Q.I. across the United States using data from AirNow.

If the air quality is poor, plan to stay indoors as much as possible with the windows closed. If you must be outdoors, consider wearing an N95 mask to help reduce your exposure to toxins, Dr. Balbus said.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *