Changing climate intensifies weather-related disasters like wildfires and floods that threaten public safety. Sadly, the health dangers of extreme weather events don’t stop when the disaster ends. In the aftermath, countless more people live in unhealthy conditions and suffer from mental health repercussions like anxiety and PTSD.
Here’s what you can do to avoid causing wildfires:
- Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste.
- Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check.
- Remove all flammables from yard when burning.
During a wildfire:
- If you’re advised to evacuate then do so immediately.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Lock your home.
- Tell someone you left and where you are going.
- Choose a safe route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
Here’s what you can do to stay safe during a flood:
- If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
- Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
- If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor or roof.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
- Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
- If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.
Climate change and extreme weather events are threatening our health today, and if left unaddressed, will lead to increases in disease, injury and death. Immediate action can and must be taken to minimize the adverse health impacts of climate change and equip public health workers with the tools to protect our communities from negative health outcomes.
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