In an era where the frequency and intensity of wildfires is increasing, innovative solutions are more critical than ever. One such solution emerges from the partnership between the IQAir Foundation, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), and the American Red Cross.
This project is part of the California Air Resources Board’s AB 836 Wildfire Smoke Clean Air Centers for Vulnerable Populations Incentive Pilot Program, a statewide program that creates a network of clean air centers during wildfire events in vulnerable communities. This partnership marks a new era in disaster response. It presents a comprehensive approach that blends advanced air filtration technology with essential humanitarian aid, resulting in a robust network of clean air centers providing much-needed relief during wildfire events.
As part of the partnership, IQAir Foundation will provide 183 IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifiers delivered to the Red Cross Southern California and Los Angeles Regions for deployment to shelters during wildfire events.
IQAir's air purifiers for protection against wildfire smoke
With their advanced HyperHEPA filtration technology, IQAir’s HealthPro Plus air purifiers are certified to filter 99.5% of pollutants (including bacteria and viruses) down to 0.003 microns, ensuring the air in these shelters is cleaned in real-time, providing a significant line of defense against smoke pollutants and aiding in the prevention of airborne viruses like COVID-19.
"As a humanitarian organization, our mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies,” said Debbie Leahy, Regional Disaster Officer, Red Cross Southern California Region. “We appreciate community partners like IQAir and South Coast AQMD coming together. The IQAir air purifiers will be used to help improve the air quality in shelters, helping to safeguard the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in a time when they need it most.”
–Debbie Leahy, Regional Disaster Officer, Red Cross Southern California Region
Holistic support during wildfire emergencies
The protection of vulnerable populations goes beyond ensuring clean air. Recognizing the holistic needs of people during wildfire emergencies and evacuations, the Red Cross ensures that temporary evacuation points and shelters are equipped with other essential resources. This includes meals, shelter, health services, and more to those with no place to go. Thus, individuals seeking refuge during wildfires are not just protected, but also kept as comfortable as possible under difficult circumstances.
“The positive results of this partnership couldn’t be more timely,” says Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer of South Coast AQMD. “With wildfire season upon us, there is nothing more important than ensuring that people affected most by wildfires have access to clean air they wouldn’t have otherwise. This project accomplishes that mission,” remarked Wayne Nastri, Executive Officer at South Coast AQMD.
A collaborative approach to disaster management
The partnership between IQAir, South Coast AQMD, and the American Red Cross stands as an example of innovation in a landscape fraught with challenges. The synergistic efforts of these organizations show that effective disaster management requires not just safety measures, but also an emphasis on comfort and health. As wildfires persist, these efforts provide assurance that vulnerable populations are protected and cared for, thus embodying the true spirit of community.