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The Field-Expedient Air Purifier

Not everyone has air conditioning in the Pacific Northwest.

We have had several days of unprecedented smoke in the air, wafting up from California and Oregon wildfires that are burning out of control. The wind shifted on Friday night, bring the smoke in from off the Pacific Ocean. The air quality has been unhealthy for three days now, with that trend continuing, but hopefully diminishing in the week ahead.

Fortunately the temperatures have cooled off from 80s and even 90-plus degree temperatures on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. Because of our traditionally "normal" cooler temperatures, the number of people with air conditioned homes is way less than half or more, on a percentage basis. The weather service advised people to stay indoors and keep their windows shut. What is a person to do?

One quick solution for helping to filter the air is to build your own air filtering system. It is crude, but should help somewhat. See this How to Make a DIY Air Purifier.

Call it American ingenuity. 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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