MDOT installs Hands-Free Device Use signs

MDOT installs Hands-Free Device Use signs

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June 29, 2023


Jeff Cranson
[email protected]

MDOT installs Hands-Free Device Use signs
along state lines and border crossings

  • Michigan’s new hands-free device use law is effective Friday, June 30.
  • Michigan is the 26th state in the U.S. to adopt hands-free driving laws.
  • MDOT will install 37 signs at state line and border crossings announcing the hands-free cell phone law.
  • MDOT will include messaging on DMS boards reminding drivers of the new hands-free device law.

LANSING, Mich. ­- Effective Friday, June 30, Michigan will become the 26th state in the U.S. to adopt hands-free device legislation, placing strict implications on drivers found to be using cell phones without the use of hands-free technology.

To support this new legislation, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will begin installing Hands-Free Device Use signs at 37 locations along state line and border crossings. Installation will begin this week and is expected to continue through the summer until all signs are placed. In addition to trunkline signs, MDOT’s dynamic message sign (DMS) boards will include reminders of the new law. The following message will be displayed on all DMS boards moving forward:


Texting while driving has been illegal in Michigan since 2010, but increasing the parameters of the law to prohibit the use of cell phones without hands-free technology is expected to further improve safety for all road users, including passengers, pedestrians, and road workers.

“This legislation is a welcome addition in the fight to reduce roadway fatalities and injuries,” said State Transportation Director Brad Wieferich. “Improving safety for our road workers is a top priority for the department, and these new laws will help to ensure that our roads and work zones are protected from distracted driving.”

Additional information regarding this legislation and the penalties associated are available through the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning website at

Hands free sign

DNR News Digest – Week of June 26, 2023

DNR News Digest – Week of June 26, 2023

DNR banner

News Digest – Week of June 26, 2023

The U.S. flag billows to the left at the top of a tall white flagpole, over several low-lying white buildings with brown roofs; blue sky above

Old Glory flies against a brilliant blue sky at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park in Copper Harbor.

Here are just a few of this week’s stories from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, leading into the July Fourth holiday weekend:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used in this email are available in this folder.

Know before you go: Statewide fire risk, air quality

a blue, green, orange, red and yellow map of Michigan showing circles with letter indications of fire risk, ranging from LOW to EXTREMEMichiganders know our weather can change on a dime. That’s true when it comes to fire-related risk, too, especially now with drought conditions in much of the state and air quality being dramatically affected by smoke from Canada wildfires. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and arming yourself with information is key:

Fireworks refresher: Tips for fire-safe July Fourth fun

A person holds a flickering sparkler between their hands; it illuminates a small area with its glowAs you make Independence Day plans, prepare for fun and safety, too. Care with campfires and fireworks is critical, as Michigan continues its run of unusually dry weather that puts fields and forests at risk for wildfire.

If you choose to use fireworks over the July Fourth holiday, the following tips can help avoid injuries or sparking a wildfire.


  • Supervise kids with fireworks and sparklers. Keep fireworks away from your face.
  • Use fireworks only on a flat paved or gravel surface. Spray down the area with water before you start and when you’re done.
  • Toss used fireworks and sparklers into a bucket of water.
  • Keep a water source ready to spray embers from fireworks.


  • Try to reignite “dud” fireworks that don’t go off. Wait 15 minutes, then place them in a bucket of water.
  • Launch fireworks into forests or fields where dry grass or leaves could ignite.

Aerial fireworks such as Roman candles and bottle rockets are not allowed at Michigan state parks, harbors or trails. Smaller novelty fireworks such as fountains, sparklers and ground spinners are permitted in campgrounds.

“Fun, spark-free alternatives to fireworks include ribbon dancers, paper confetti poppers, glow-in-the-dark bubbles and glow sticks,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson.

Sky lanterns are not allowed on DNR-managed public lands. They leave wires that can entangle wildlife and foul equipment, and they have the potential to start wildfires.

So far this season, DNR firefighters have responded to more than 230 wildfires. Get wildfire prevention tips at and check to see if it’s safe to burn brush and leaves at

Questions? Contact Paul Rogers at 616-260-8406.

Stay dry on the water this holiday weekend

back of a woman conservation officer in uniform on a DNR boat, with white and red U.S. Coast Guard vessel and two people in the backgroundConservation officers will have an increased presence on Michigan waterways July 1-3 as part of Operation Dry Water, a national law enforcement campaign to promote sober boating.

There’s good reason for the effort. According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard report, alcohol remains the primary contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.

Alcohol impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time, and can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – elements common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some medications.

Nationally, law enforcement officers contacted 350,472 boaters, made 794 boating under the influence arrests, and issued 45,067 citations and warnings for safety violations during last year’s Operation Dry Water campaign.

The DNR encourages boaters to ride only with a sober operator who has a valid boater safety education certificate. Learn more about boating safety or sign up for a boater safety course at

Questions? Contact Katie Gervasi at 517-290-0679.

color graphic of the side view of a boat, titled before leaving and before launching, inspect everything; it labels different parts of a boat

Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week is July 2-8

Ahoy, boaters! Ready for Michigan’s 10th annual Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week?

This year it runs July 2-8 and features outreach events at more than 50 sites across the state. Michigan’s Invasive Species Program partners and volunteers will be reminding boaters to “clean, drain, dry” their boats and trailers before getting back on the road.

Boaters and anglers need to know that state law requires removal of plants and debris from watercraft and trailers; removal of drain plugs; and draining of bilges, ballast tanks and live wells before any watercraft is transported. Remembering to “clean, drain, dry” also helps prevent the spread of invasives like starry stonewort and zebra and quagga mussels.

Michigan’s AIS Awareness Week events support the Great Lakes AIS Landing Blitz, spreading the word about aquatic invasive species prevention throughout the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces. It’s sponsored by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Water Resources Division in partnership with the departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development, federal agencies and private and nonprofit organizations.

Get involved with AIS Awareness Week and the AIS Landing Blitz and learn about preventing the spread of invasive species at

Questions? Contact Joanne Foreman at [email protected].

Double red flags? Don’t go in the water

Two red flags hang from a tall pole on a sandy beach, near the shoreline. Double red flags on Great Lakes beaches mean don't go in the water.To boost awareness of changing conditions and save lives, there’s a new addition to the Great Lakes beach flag warning system. If you see double red flags, you are not allowed to enter the water from the beach.

DNR land use order now makes it illegal to enter the water when there is risk to human health and safety. Risks can include hazardous waves and/or dangerous water conditions, active rescue or recovery efforts, and environmental hazards. This order does not apply to surfers using wind-powered or self-propelled wave-riding boards.

More ways to stay safe

Keep these other cautions in mind when enjoying time in and around the Great Lakes:

  • There are no beach guards at state parks. Never swim alone and always keep close watch of children and bring U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, especially for new and inexperienced swimmers.
  • Water currents near piers, breakwalls and outlets of rivers can be extremely hazardous.
  • Visitors in areas without designated swim beaches should use extreme caution because they will not have the benefit of the beach flag warning system or the visual cautions of buoys that mark water depth and obstacles.
  • When water access is permitted, be prepared for widely varying water temps; some parts of the Great Lakes are still hovering around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Before leaving home for any beach outing, check local weather reports and lake conditions and learn about the types of Great Lakes currents and how to escape them.

Visit for tips and information on safely visiting the Great Lakes, including state-designated swim beach locations, the beach flag warning system, Great Lakes currents (and how to escape them) and more.

Questions? Contact Pat Whalen at 269-838-1196.

ORV operators: Ride Right, ride again

side view of a person wearing a helmet riding a dirt bike over a sandy area, with a side-by-side ORV in the backgroundA long holiday weekend means many people will be enjoying one of the fastest-growing recreation activities in Michigan – off-road vehicle riding. If you’ll be on a quad, side-by-side, dirt bike or other type of ORV, the DNR wants everyone to Ride Right to ensure you ride again.

Speed, drugs and alcohol, and reckless operation are leading causes of ORV accidents.

“Conservation officers are seeing an increase in alcohol and marijuana use, particularly on side-by-sides,” said the DNR’s Cpl. Mike Hearn. “Alcohol and marijuana laws are the same for ORVs as they are for street vehicles – there’s zero tolerance.”

If you are the first rider (acting as leader) of an ORV group, you can help prevent reckless operation by leading at a safe speed for all rider abilities, conditions and equipment. Also be cautious of dust clouds, especially during dry weather conditions such as those Michigan is now experiencing. Dust clouds can impair your ability to see nearby riders, trees and other objects, making it challenging to determine a safe stopping distance.

three off-road vehicles travel single file down a dirt road, alongside a large blue body of water. Green forests and blue sky line the backgroundKeep these important ORV safety tips in mind:

  • Ride at a safe speed based on your abilities and the machine’s capabilities.
  • Know the trail conditions.
  • Ride sober; open alcohol is not allowed on side-by-sides or any other ORV.
  • Ride on the right side of the trail.
  • Wear a helmet and other appropriate safety gear, such as eye protection, gloves, footwear and chest protectors.
  • Ride with your lights on to increase your visibility to others.
  • Always supervise ORV operators who are under the age of 16 (it’s the law).
  • Complete an approved ORV safety course.
  • Refer to manufacturer guidelines for passenger limits.
  • Stay on the trail and watch where you park. A hot muffler or engine can ignite dry leaves or grass, so keep machines and trailer chains away from potential fire fuel.

Read more about ORV safety at For more on where to ride and ORV laws in Michigan, go to

Questions? Contact Cpl. Mike Hearn at [email protected].


The outdoors is for everyone! See what we’re doing to boost accessibility at parks, piers, playgrounds and your other favorite outdoor places.


Before you head out to fish, hunt or ride, be sure you have the licenses, permits and other information you need for a safe, successful adventure.


Want to do your part to help take care of Michigan’s natural resources? Start at our DNR Get Involved page for ideas near you and around the state.

Legislation to Build More Affordable Housing

Legislation to Build More Affordable Housing

Governor Whitmer Header


June 29, 2023

Contact: [email protected]


Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation to Build More Affordable Housing, Community Projects

HB 4375 helps more communities use powerful economic development tools to become more attractive places to live, work, and invest.


LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to power economic development in communities across Michigan by expanding the number of communities that can establish land bank fast track authorities. Local governments can use these powerful tools to revitalize vacant, unused, abandoned, or blighted lands and structures, build affordable housing, make downtowns and neighborhoods more livable and attractive, and grow local economies.


“Revitalizing places to make Michigan communities more attractive places to live, work, and invest is a key part of our strategy to help more individuals, families, and businesses make it in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “This legislation will widen access to the powerful economic development tools land bank fast track authorities provide. Whether it’s renovating the old bank or theatre on main street, or turning abandoned lands into places of opportunity, Michigan communities are on the move, open for business, and showing the world how much we have to offer. Let’s keep working together to grow our economy and build a Michigan where anyone can envision a bright future for themselves.”


The bill expands the number of cities and townships in Michigan that can establish land bank fast track authorities to include any city or township with a population greater than 50,000 if that city or township is not located in a county that already has a county authority. Under current law, only counties and the city of Detroit can create these authorities.


“The signing of HB 4375 is a big step as we work to expand the tools for economic development. This law will better empower Michigan’s communities, townships, and cities. Widening the scope of land banks adds a very effective tool for these municipalities so they can better combat the housing crisis and reduce blight,” said bill sponsor Rep. Kristian Grant, (D-Grand Rapids). “Our local communities know best the work that has to be done to meet the needs of their neighborhoods. Allowing these municipalities to create land banks provides them the opportunity to pair it with local resources in a way that the State Land Bank Authority is not designed to do. There are communities across our state, including my hometown of Grand Rapids, that need tools like this so they can effectively work on meaningful redevelopment that uplifts the lives of those in their communities.”


“Affordable housing is a nation issue that requires local solutions,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “Thanks to our Governor and lawmakers in the legislature, this bill gives cities like Grand Rapids another potential tool to address critical housing needs.”


Growing Michigan’s Economy and Make it in Michigan

In December 2021, Governor Whitmer brought Republicans, Democrats, and public and private sector leaders together to establish powerful new economic development tools that would help Michigan compete for transformational projects. Since then, the state has won $16 billion of projects and more than 16,000 good-paying jobs building electric vehicles, batteries, semiconductor chips, and clean energy—all industries of the future.


To keep this momentum going, the state must continue its successful economic development strategy and expand the toolkit. The governor proposed the Make it in Michigan plan, a comprehensive strategy to build on the work we are doing and help more families and businesses make it in Michigan.


The plan has three pillars: competing for and winning projects to bring manufacturing and supply chains home, investing in people so they can pursue their potential from Pre-K through postsecondary and have their freedoms protected, and revitalizing places to make them more attractive places to live, work, and invest. The Make it in Michigan plan proposes spurring more cutting-edge research and development in Michigan, lowering costs for businesses so they can hire more Michiganders, and working to land more transformational projects in Michigan while making parallel investments in local child care, housing, infrastructure, and workforce programs.


Bills to Protect Michigan Students at Schools from Abuse

Bills to Protect Michigan Students at Schools from Abuse

Governor Whitmer Header


June 29, 2023

Contact: [email protected]


Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Protect Michigan Students at Schools, Colleges, and Universities from Abuse, Keep Communities Safe


LANSING, Mich – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to protect Michigan students at schools, colleges, and universities from abuse.


“We must work together to support and protect students at every level and create environments that safeguard them from abuse,” said Governor Whitmer. “Last year, I worked with legislators to expand the occupations required to report child abuse, and today’s legislation builds on that bipartisan work to keep our kids safe. We have all seen the devastating impacts of ongoing, unreported abuse. As a former prosecutor, public safety is a top priority for me, and I will work with anyone to protect Michigan children.”


The new laws require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to create training materials for mandatory reporters, update the grounds for permanently revoking a health professional’s license to include using medical treatment as a pretext for sexual contact, prohibit individuals from using their professional authority to prevent reports of certain crimes to law enforcement or a Title IX coordinator at a postsecondary education institution, and prohibit public school students from being expelled or suspended, with exceptions, for behavior resulting from sexual assault.


“These long overdue measures will protect and empower sexual assault survivors, prevent others from being victimized, and hold offenders accountable,” said Angela Povilaitis, lead Larry Nassar prosecutor and staff attorney for the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. “I am incredibly proud of the persistent and tireless work of so many sexual assault victims, who have become not only survivors, but advocates for change in Michigan. I am also grateful for the unwavering leadership, support, and dedication shown by Gov. Whitmer and our state legislators to improve responses and outcomes for sexual assault survivors in our state.”


Governor Whitmer signed House Bills 4120, 4121, 4122, 4123, 4124, and 4125.


House Bill 4120 aims to keep communities safe by requiring MDHHS to create training materials for

mandatory reporters and require employers to provide them to employees that are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. The bill would also require MDHHS to make the materials publicly

available on its website.


“I am proud to have worked with Senator Chang and the other bill sponsors over the past four years to see these bipartisan bills finally enacted into law. This legislation is long overdue and its enactment will protect Michiganders from abuse at the hands of authority figures in our schools, athletic programs, and medical settings,” said state Representative Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo). “Under HB 4120, employers will be required to adequately train employees who are mandated reporters to ensure that everyone is clear on their responsibilities and the process for reporting known and suspected crimes.”


House Bill 4121 and 4122 aims to prevent child abuse by updating the Public Health Code to include a conviction for engaging in sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment as grounds for disciplinary action against a health professional and require a disciplinary subcommittee to permanently revoke the license of a convicted individual.


“We trust medical professionals with our health and wellbeing. For someone to violate that trust by abusing their position and patient is beyond reprehensible,” said state Representative Kelly Breen (D-Novi). “This legislation is an important step forward in protecting survivors and preventing repeat offenses from abusers.”


“When patients seek medical care, they are putting their trust in someone who ought to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct,” said state Representative Kara Hope (D-Holt). “When they violate that position of trust, they must face consequences. This law will hold predatory medical professionals accountable and help prevent further abuse.”


House Bill 4123 and 4124 aims to protect Michigan children by prohibiting individuals from using or attempting to use their professional authority to prevent certain crimes from being reported, including child abuse and criminal sexual conduct, to law enforcement or a Title IX coordinator at a postsecondary education institution.


“I stand with survivors of sexual assault and refuse to let their voices be silenced,” said state Representative Graham Filler (R-St. Johns). “When survivors gather the courage to disclose what they have endured, they should never be pressured to keep quiet by those in authority. They deserve a system where their voices are amplified, their pain is acknowledged, and their courage becomes a catalyst for change. I am proud to work on this bipartisan package, I pray that it leads to less victims of sexual abuse here in Michigan.”


“I am proud to be part of a bipartisan package of legislation to help prevent sexual assault and support survivors. I am grateful it’s on its way to Governor Whitmer’s desk,” said state Representative Carol Glanville (D-Walker). “This has truly been a group effort by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and a necessary one. These policies will protect survivors of sexual violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and prevent abusers from using their professional position of authority to victimize others. We are sending a strong message that protecting survivors and holding accountable those who would silence them is a top priority.”


House Bill 4125 aims to support Michigan children by preventing a public school from expelling or suspending a student, with exceptions, for behavior resulting from sexual assault.


“I’m proud that HB 4125 was included in this bipartisan, bicameral package to protect people from sexual assault and to encourage reporting,” said state Representative Carrie Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor). “When laws incorporate trauma-informed nuances like this, we can move toward healing for our young people and survivors across Michigan.”


Bill Signing


Bill signing


Other bills in the sexual assault prevention package include Senate Bills 66 through 73 and Senate Bill 236. The bills were ordered enrolled on June 27th and are expected to be signed in the coming weeks.


The bills will keep communities safe by requiring schools to develop and distribute age-appropriate materials on sexual assault and sexual harassment, prohibiting health professionals from engaging in sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment, requiring parental consent and an additional health professional to be present during certain exams of minors and requiring patients’ records to be updated and retained following the exams, amending the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to exempt anonymous reports of sexual misconduct, and updating the definition of mentally incapacitated in the Michigan Penal Code regarding sexual assault.


Senate Bill 66 aims to create environments that protect children from abuse by requiring schools to develop and distribute age-appropriate materials on sexual assault and sexual harassment for middle and high school students.


“Thank you to Governor Whitmer for signing the sexual assault prevention and education bill package today,” said state Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “It’s been a long journey. I’ve been proud to work alongside dedicated advocates, survivors, and many colleagues on both sides of the aisle for more than five years on these important policies. I am confident that these bills will make a big impact in Michigan by starting to change the culture around sexual assault, ensuring that young people are aware of what sexual assault is and where to go for help, and so much more. We never gave up hope because we were determined to make these changes to prevent future sexual assault and protect survivors.”


Senate Bill 67 aims to keep communities safe by prohibiting health professionals from engaging in sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment. Senate Bill 68 would update sentencing guidelines in accordance with Senate Bill 67.


“We all put our utmost trust in the medical professionals who care for us, and betrayal of that trust is unacceptable,” said state Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), sponsor of Senate Bill 68. “By explicitly outlawing the sexual abuse of patients by medical professionals, and outlining strict penalties for these crimes, we can help prevent these types of assaults from happening ever again and give greater recourse to survivors if it does.”


Senate Bill 69 and 71 aim to keep Michigan children safe by requiring parental consent and an additional health professional to be present during certain exams of minors and requiring patients’ records to be updated and retained for 15 years following the exams. Senate Bills 70 and 72 would update sentencing guidelines in accordance with the bills.


“Today, we’re sending a strong message that Michigan will hold sexual predators accountable,” said state Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City). I’m proud of our work to require precautionary measures protecting patients and stronger penalties for destroying evidence. We’re empowering survivors to pursue justice.”


Senate Bill 73 aims to protect and support survivors by amending FOIA to exempt records that could reveal the identity of someone that anonymously reported being a victim of sexual misconduct.


“This package of bills helps support survivors of sexual assault who choose to come forward, whether it’s protecting their anonymity from FOIA or requiring that medical records be kept regarding sensitive procedures,” said state Senator Sue Shink (D- Northfield Twp). “I appreciate the work of the survivors and our advocates who have helped drive this tremendously important and necessary change, and I am glad to see that this work has both the bipartisan and universal support to do what needs to be done for survivors of sexual assault in their healing journey.”


Senate Bill 236 would update the definition of mentally incapacitated in the Michigan Penal Code regarding sexual assault to include any time a person is incapable of controlling their conduct due to the influence of a substance regardless of if the substance was administered with or without their consent.


Michigan families urged to check air quality

Michigan families urged to check air quality

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112,

Michigan families urged to check air quality,
otherprecautions to protect health and safety
MDHHS sets up hotline to answer health-related calls during the week

LANSING, Mich. – As Michiganders enjoy the outdoors this holiday weekend and throughout the summer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging families to take precautions to protect their health and safety. These include the usual advice of applying sunscreen and using insect repellant, and now also include checking air quality before they head out.

“We are experiencing a unique situation when it comes to air quality in Michigan,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Smoke from Canadian wildfires is affecting air quality across the state ranging from unhealthy for older and younger residents and those with underlying health conditions to unhealthy for all residents. We are urging Michiganders to check the Air Quality Index online regularly to determine if there are any actions they should take.”

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a color-coded way for residents to see what the levels of some types of air pollution are in their area. The higher the AQI, the worse the air quality is and the more cause for concern.

Live color-coded air quality conditions that indicate if air quality is healthy (green) or unhealthy (yellow, orange, red and purple), along with steps to protect your health, can be found at the AirNow website and mobile app. Residents can also sign up for alerts through the EnviroFlash system. This subscriber system allows you to choose the area you would like to get alerts for, and it will send alerts directly to your email or send a text message.

MDHHS has set up a hotline for Michigan residents to ask health-related questions related to air quality issues. The number is 800-648-6942, and is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays.

Currently the AQI for particulate matter is high in many parts of Michigan due to smoke and fires in the U.S., and particularly in parts of Canada. It is possible that the Canadian wildfires may last several more weeks. The AQI is also used for levels of other pollutants, like ozone.

Anyone can get sick from exposure to wildfire smoke, but some people are more sensitive to particle pollution. Older adults aged 65 and older, pregnant people, children, and people with lung and heart conditions may be more likely to get sick if they breathe in wildfire smoke. Symptoms from breathing in particle pollution can include wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. If you have asthma, follow your asthma control action plan or contact your health care provider if you have symptoms. If you have heart disease and experience these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

The most protective option when air is unhealthy is to stay indoors with air conditioning, reduce strenuous activities and limit outdoor activities. If you must be outside, N95 masks offer enhanced protection when used according to product instructions.

During unhealthy for sensitive groups (AQI orange) to unhealthy for everyone air quality events (AQI red), MDHHS advises the following:

For people with heart or lung disease, pregnant people, older adults aged 65+, children and teens it is suggested to take the following steps to reduce exposure:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Keep outdoor activities short.
  • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.

For everyone else:

  • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard.
  • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors.
  • Be active outdoors when air quality is better.

During very unhealthy (AQI purple) or hazardous for everyone (AQI maroon) air quality, MDHHS advises the following for everyone:

  • Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed using MERV-13 or better air filtration.
    • Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed. Call or text 211 or contact your local health department to find out if there is a shelter or cooling center nearby.
    • Use air filters to improve indoor air quality. Whether you have a central air conditioning system or a portable room unit, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from smoke. If you don’t have access to those filter systems, you can create a temporary air purifier with a 2012 or newer box fan and attaching a MERV-13 or higher air filter to it. Information is available online.
  • Keep activity levels low.
  • Avoid outdoor activities.
  • Use N95 style masks if you have to be outside.
    • Surgical and cloth masks are not recommended as they are not designed to prevent breathing in the fine particulate matter in wildfire smoke.

Additional helpful resources:

These resources may be helpful to you if you are looking to learn more about air quality in your area, specifically around wildfires and smoke impacts.