Wildfire season essentials

Wildfire season comes with record-high temperatures and drought conditions. Taking the right precautions can help protect your household and community. In addition to preparing for smoke, poor air quality and limited travel, you need to be ready in the event of public safety power shutoffs. There are many products that can help keep you and your loved ones safe during the season. Don’t miss our testing insights on the Blueair air purifier.

Shop this article: Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid KitAirthings Wave Plus Air Quality Monitor and Midland NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio.

Indoor air quality

Smoke from wildfires may enter homes and impact indoor air quality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, smoke contains microscopic particles that can get into your respiratory system and eyes. If it does, you may experience headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath. The particles may aggravate chronic health issues, such as cardiac conditions or respiratory illnesses.

For that reason, the EPA advises those in the path of wildfires to take special precautions to minimize indoor smoke exposure. Here are a few of their recommendations.

  • Keep doors and windows closed and seal off draft-prone areas such as door cracks and doggy doors.

  • Adjust heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to prevent outside air from getting inside.

  • Limit fine particles from circulating in your household. Refrain from unnecessary use of aerosol products, candles and vacuuming unless the vacuum has a HEPA filter.

  • Designate a clean room, which is a space sealed off from smoke as much as possible. The room should also be free of activities that create or circulate particulates.

Utility shutoffs

Some states and communities have public safety power shutoffs. This reduces the risk of power equipment sparking wildfires. When shutoffs occur, they may last anywhere from a couple of hours to as long as it takes to reduce the fire risk. These shutoffs often occur during severe weather alerts. This includes high wind gusts or Red Flag Warnings by the National Weather Service.

To prepare for public safety power shutoffs, make sure you have a backup plan in the event of prolonged outages. The most common solutions include generators and power banks. Some may instead travel to secondary locations until power is restored. Individuals with electric medical devices, such as electric wheelchairs or CPAP machines, often go to secondary locations so their devices can have reliable power sources.

Travel restrictions

Travel restrictions are common during wildfire season. These minimize exposure to poor air quality and prioritize roadways for rescue personnel.

Many reduce trips outside the household during wildfire season. Ready.gov recommends stocking up on essentials such as medication, bottled water, protective masks and pet supplies. You should also pick up nonperishable items to carry you through the season. These include canned fruit and vegetables, baby food, cereal and prepackaged snacks.


Prepare for wildfire season by creating a supply checklist. Get core essentials and items that aid in debris management, improve indoor air quality and keep you safe if you evacuate to a public shelter.

First aid kit

first aid kit

Be Smart Get Prepared First Aid Kit

This 326-piece first aid kit, ideal for home or vehicle use, contains medical supplies that meet or exceed OSHA and ANSI guidelines. The supplies are packaged in a portfolio-style hard case that keeps items visible and accessible.

Sold at Amazon

Fire extinguisher

fire extinguisher

First Alert PRO5 Rechargeable Heavy-Duty Plus Fire Extinguisher

This heavy-duty fire extinguisher has durable metal construction and a commercial-grade valve. It’s backed by a 12-year warranty and has a water- and chemical-resistant label with easy-to-read instructions.

Sold at Amazon

Air quality monitor

air quality monitor and a phone

Airthings Wave Plus Air Quality Monitor

An award-winning design, this smart air quality monitor uses six sensors for accurate readings. The device monitors carbon dioxide, radon, total VOCs, humidity, air pressure and temperature. It integrates seamlessly with most smart home hubs.

Sold at Amazon

Hand sanitizer

box of individual hand sanitizer packets

Purell Singles Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel

These single-use packets of Purell are essential for those heading to shelters or for cleaning devices. The box includes 125 pocket- and wallet-friendly packets.

Sold at Amazon

Air purifier

the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier

This premium air purifier traps particles and neutralizes odors through three-stage filtration. It has whisper-quiet operation and is Energy Star rated as a low-consumption device. Suitable for rooms up to 540 square feet, it’s a popular investment for bedrooms and home offices. Our tester found it improved their health throughout the day during wildfire season. This includes getting rid of their chronic cough and headaches they said usually persist throughout the season. 

Sold at Amazon

Emergency/weather radio

the Midland NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio

Midland NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio

Monitor NOAA weather alerts, including wildfire updates and evacuation watches, with this emergency radio. The battery-powered unit has a 25-county memory system with color-coded alert level indicators.

Sold at Amazon

Safety goggles

the DEWALT Concealer Safety Goggle with Clear Anti-Fog Lens

DeWalt Concealer Safety Goggle with Clear Anti-Fog Lens

When you’re working on debris management, protect your eyes with these professional-grade goggles. They have a dual-injected rubber lining that conforms to the face for a better seal. The goggles are impact-resistant and offer UV protection as well.

Sold at Amazon


the Energizer LED Headlamp Flashlight and some batteries

Energizer LED Headlamp Flashlight

This Energizer headlamp has seven light modes, including flashing red or green. It runs on three AA batteries and offers up to 50 hours of LED light use in low mode. The headlamp is known for its durable design with a water-resistant body and shatter-resistant lens.

Sold at Amazon


the Fiskars X27 Super Splitting AxeFiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe

Ideal for splitting medium and large logs, this axe is suitable for debris management and lawn maintenance. It features a well-balanced design that increases swinging speed and power. The axe has a textured handle to improve grip, including when you’re wearing work gloves.

Sold at Amazon

Utility gloves

the OZERO Leather Work Gloves

Ozero Leather Work Gloves

These cowhide work gloves are often worn because of their durable, puncture-resistant design. The elastic wrist helps gloves stay put while extended cuffs provide enhanced wrist protection. The gloves are available in four sizes.

Sold at Amazon

Puppy pads

a box of Glad for Pets Activated Carbon Training Pads

Glad for Pets Activated Carbon Training Pads

These Glad puppy pads may minimize how often some dogs need to go outdoors, especially on low air quality days. They have five layers of leakproof protection. This includes an activated carbon layer that absorbs yellow spots and neutralizes odors.

Sold at Amazon


a pair of Motorola T600 Talkabout Radios

Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio

If communication via phone isn’t possible, these two-way Motorola radios are reasonable alternatives. They have a 35-mile transmission range and receive 11 weather channels, including seven NOAA channels.

Sold at Amazon

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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