As agricultural fires in Kansas and southeast Nebraska continue to cause air quality problems in the Omaha metro, here is a look at six things you can do to keep your family safe.
The Douglas County Health Department says you should:
1. Use common sense. If it looks smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to go outside.
2. Pay attention to local air quality reports. You can monitor the conditions at www.airnow.gov. Simply wait for the U.S. map to appear, then click on Omaha and zoom in. That page includes the forecast, and provides hourly updates.
3. If you are advised to stay indoors, take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Try to avoid using anything that burns. Don't vacuum and don't smoke.
4. If you have asthma or other lung disease, make sure you follow your doctor's directions about taking your medicines and following your asthma management plan. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
5. Run your air conditioner if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside, with the air conditioner set on recirculate.6
6. If you have heart or lung disease, if you are an older adult, or if you have children, talk with your doctor about whether and when you should leave the area.
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