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Emergencies & Your Health: Disasters in the Bay Area

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Updates on current South Bay emergencies

Thankfully, there are no current emergencies in our local area (besides the COVID-19 pandemic).

If a disaster should happen that effects our area, you'll find up-to-date details here.

With thanks

To all the agencies that provided this information, and especially to the following organizations that gave us feedback on this guide:

  • Santa Clara Fire District, Office of Emergency Management
  • Satellite Healthcare


How Bad is the Air Quality?

Smoke and particles in the air can cause serious health problems to both people and pets, and unfortunately just smelling smoke isn't enough to tell whether breathing outside air is dangerous. Here are links to air quality tracking and advisory websites:

Different methods used to calculate air quality give us different numbers, and it can be confusing. This article helps to explain why - and suggests how to find the best resource for your location.

When air quality is poor or bad, the Santa Clara County Public Health Office advises people who are most at-risk (older adults, pregnant women, children, and people with chronic respiratory and/or heart conditions) to:

  • Stay inside as much as possible, with doors and windows closed. If it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, or if you are especially sensitive to smoke, consider moving to a cooling center for awhile.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise outside.
  • Avoid using indoor pollutants like candles, gas stoves, and fireplaces.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If you can, use a properly-sized portable air cleaner to help remove smoke & particulates from indoor air.
  • Contact your healthcare team if you're having a difficult time breathing.

Direct Relief Organizations

As of September 8, 2020, evacuations for the CZU and SCU wildfires have been lifted. That doesn't mean that all is back to normal for the people and places affected by these fires, however.

People who need help can contact

   In Santa Clara County:

   In San Mateo County:

To Help Out

These nonprofit organizations are pooling funds and donations for fire relief:

About PlaneTree Health Library

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