It feels like a challenging year for everybody, but especially parents. At a time when there’s a contentious presidential election, a pandemic, mass job loss, and evictions, everybody has to work hard to take care of themselves. It’s an added stress level sometimes if you’re a mom with young children. On top of everything else, moms in the West Coast and Pacific Northwest are dealing with wildfires on a massive scale. Fires are hitting parts of California hard, as well as Oregon. If you’re in a region where wildfires are a less than uncommon occurrence, here are several things to remember as you to deal with the situation this year.
Wear a Mask, and Help Your Kids to Wear Them, Too
If you live in an area where you know a wildfire could start, or you’re not far from a wildfire right now, then wear a mask to decrease exposure to smoke. There are some masks you can get that:
- Repel smoke efficiently
- Double as Covid-19 protection
You should make sure your kids wear them as well if you’re going outside together. You don’t want yourself or your kids inhaling any smoke, as that’s what kills people in fires more than the flames themselves.
If You’re in Imminent Danger, Leave
If you’re sure there’s a fire heading your way, then take your kids and leave. You should also bring with you any other family members and pets. If you’re uncertain whether you’re in any danger, you can monitor the situation via:
- The radio
- TV news
- The internet
You might know that you’re in an area with a high wildfire risk, but you may never know if one is heading your way unless you’re constantly vigilant. Wildfires can spread amazingly quickly, so relying on sight, sound, and smell might not be enough.
Hopefully, with forewarning, you can get out of the house and escape before the fire closes in. Check local news for evacuation sites and the safest exit routes.
Take Care Not to Set Any Fires Yourself
You and your kids probably want to take advantage of nice weather by getting outside and playing or exercising. With all the self-isolating that people have done this year because of the pandemic, you and your younger children might go a little stir-crazy sometimes.
When you’re outside, though, certain activities can potentially start wildfires. For instance, in California, some people just started a huge blaze days ago as part of a gender reveal party. It has already burned more than 10,000 acres. The damage occured because of a pyrotechnics display. It’s precisely this type of reckless behavior that you have to be sure to avoid. Don’t use fireworks, lighters, matches, or anything along those lines if you live in a wildfire-prone area. Take a common-sense approach to playing and outdoor activities.
Don’t Burn Trash
Another reason that wildfires start is people burning trash. Local ordinances often exist that prevent people from doing this anyway, but that does not stop some individuals from defying them. If you have rubbish that you’re trying to get rid of, make sure that you dispose of it in the proper ways. That means taking it to the dump or leaving it out on trash day. If you are going to burn anything, then be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby. Moms should know how to use one, so remember the acronym PASS. It stands for pull the pin, aim the extinguisher, squeeze the trigger, and sweep the foam back and forth over the flame’s base.
Teach Your Kids to Report Fires
One more thing that you can teach your kids to do is report fires if they ever see one. It often requires early prevention to stop these enormous fires that can devastate thousands of acres. A number often exists that you can call to report uncontained fires, or you can just call 911. For moms whose kids are not old enough to call for help yet, instruct them to tell you so you can do it. If they’re at school, they can tell a teacher or another grownup.
Because of California and Oregon wildfire frequency, 2020 is the year that some moms are thinking about relocating. These are both amazing states with a lot to offer, but the wildfire danger is concerning. You might decide that you’re ready to move on, especially since these fires are increasing every year with climate change. If you stay where you are, they’ll probably remain a legitimate danger.