What to Expect After You Apply for FEMA Aid











News | June 23, 2011 12:32 PM

Health Department Offers Tips on Dealing with Smoky Conditions

Please see advisory below on behalf of the Chatham County Health Department. 

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA-- The Chatham County Health Department is asking residents to take precautions to avoid health problems related to the smoky conditions caused by the recent wildfires.

     Smoke from wildfires can cause coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, stinging eyes, and a runny nose. Smoke may worsen symptoms for people who have heart or lung disease, or other pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.

     The Chatham County Health Department urges you to protect yourself by using the following precautions:

• Stay inside with windows and doors shut.
• Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car.
• If you do not have an air conditioner and if it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere.
• Avoid cooking and vacuuming, which can increase pollutants indoors.
• Avoid physical exertion.
• Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan.
• Keep at least a five-day supply of medication on hand.
• Contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue. This is important for not only for people with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for individuals who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can "unmask" or produce symptoms of such diseases.
• Keep airways moist by drinking lots of water. Breathing through a warm, wet washcloth can also help relieve dryness.
• Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce breathing problems. A HEPA filter may reduce the number of irritating fine particles in indoor air.
     For more information about health problems related to the smoke, please call your local healthcare provider.

Last Updated: June 23, 2011 12:38 PM

Sign up for the CEMA Alert Email List


Be Notified by Phone in an Emergency

CEMA encourages everyone who lives, works and plays in Savannah and Chatham County to sign up to receive emergency and community notifications on their cells phones. Click here to get started or send a text message to Swift911.


Get Updates via Text Message

Text 'FOLLOW CHATHAMEMA' to 40404 to be added to the SMS notification list, powered by Twitter. Standard text messaging rates apply.


The Chatham County Siren System

The Chatham Emergency Management Agency conducts monthly tests of our emergency warning sirens on the first Wednesday of each month at 12 noon. If you hear a siren at any other time, it means take cover! Read more about our warning siren program.