Total fire ban comes with an asthma warning

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WITH extreme weather predictions of strong winds and dry conditions over the next few days, Asthma Australia is advising people with asthma to be vigilant.

This follows weather predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology and a total fire ban for tomorrow (November 20) with a “severe” fire danger rating.

Asthma Australia’s CEO Michele Goldman says heat, dust, bushfire smoke and general poor air-quality are common triggers for asthma, which can cause asthma exacerbations (known as “flare ups”), and it’s associated with increased emergency department visits and hospital admissions.  

“People can breathe better by following a number of steps whenever possible, but if you experience any asthma symptoms and these persist seek medical care or in an emergency call 000 (triple zero),” Ms Goldman says.

Asthma Australia tips to help people breathe better in poor air quality:

  • Take preventer medication every day when well. 
  • Ensure to have in-date reliever mediation and keep it on hand. Make sure there is medicine in the reliever too. Remember, each canister contains approximately 200 doses.
  • Follow your written Asthma Action Plan. If you don’t have a written Asthma Action Plan, visit your doctor to have one completed.
  • Stay indoors and close all windows and doors when the air quality is low.
  • Use an air conditioner on recycle if available.
  • Close windows and use the air conditioner on recycle if travelling in the car.
  • Avoid physical activity outdoors.
  • Move to a public air-conditioned space such as a library or shopping centre if the air quality is too poor at home.
  • Know the four steps for asthma first aid and what to do in an asthma emergency
  • Keep up to date with emergency service alerts and advice in your local area.

Under “Section 114 of the Emergencies Act 2004” ACT Emergency Services Agency commissioner Georgeina Whelan has declared a total fire ban for the whole of the ACT from midnight Wednesday, November 20 to midnight Thursday, November 21.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a predicted temperature of 38 degrees for tomorrow.

Residents in bushfire prone areas are urged to review their bushfire survival plan, says ACT ESA.

The ESA advises you to make sure you know where you will get more information and monitor the situation for any changes. You can do this through, the ESA Twitter and Facebook accounts, local ACT media outlets or by calling Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

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