Protect Your Health During Wildfire Season

Wildfire smoke is unhealthy for anyone to breathe. It can cause breathing problems, coughing, sore throat, sinus issues, eye irritation and other symptoms. Everyone should do what they can to protect themselves from the dangers of wildfire smoke. That applies especially to seniors, pregnant women, children, and people with respiratory conditions (such as asthma, emphysema or lung disease).

If you have a respiratory condition, be sure to follow your care plan and contact your PCP if you have questions or concerns.

Important information for people who use electricity to refrigerate medications or run medical equipment.

Protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke

  • Sign up to get air quality alerts for your area (by text or email)
  • Avoid or limit exposure to smoky air as much as possible. This is the most effective way to protect your health.
    • Go indoors and close all the windows and doors.
    • If you cannot go home, find someplace else where you can be indoors.
    • If you must be outdoors, try not to engage in strenuous activity.
  • Seal up cracks around doors and windows. For now, you can use household items like towels or duct tape. But you can also weatherize your home as a more permanent fix. 
  • If you can get an air filter (either stand-alone HEPA or as part of your heating/cooling system), that will help keep your indoor air clean. If you have a heating/cooling system, set it to “recirculate” to keep outside air from coming in.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Only two types of mask (N95 and P100) offer any protection against wildfire smoke. For information about when a mask may help you and how to choose which mask to use, read the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC's) fact sheet.

If you have questions about your health

First, call your primary care provider (PCP). If you have a question about how smoke may affect a specific condition that you see a specialist about, you can call your specialist. HPSM covers telemedicine, which is talking to your doctor by phone or video. Ask your PCP if they offer telemedicine. 

If you can’t reach your doctor, call HPSM’s Nurse Advice Line at 1-833-846-8773. Licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) can give you medical advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact us for more Information about your HPSM coverage

CareAdvantage members

Call 1-866-880-0606 or 650-616-2174 Monday–Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Medi-Cal, HealthWorx, and ACE Program members

Call 1-800-750-4776 or 650-616-2133 Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

TTY: 1-800-735-2929 or dial 7-1-1