Sunday, October 4, 2009

Will you abandon those who love you most to save yourself? PURR 4 DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

My cats will be purring today for all of the animals affected by the myriad of natural and man-made disasters throughout our would. We are asking that all dogs wag their tails. Dogs may be assisted by their humans by tossing Frisbees, going for walks, kissing them on the nose, offering treats and lovin' them like crazy.

Isn't it funny when something happens to your most ordinary day that connects with something else larger, much larger, than yourself? My local health department sent out a brochure and postcard to all residents of the county where I live. It was all about natural, or (heavens) man-disaster, and what part, if any, my household would play if one should take place

On that card there were spots for doctors and nurses and contractors, and a little spot to write in what you would do if a disaster struck our area. I wrote in "animal rescue and animal welfare". I mailed that card yesterday and once it is received my name will be placed in a data base to be used by the members of our response team.

I am pleased to say that, even though my town is small (15,000 pop.) we have in place written instructions/protocol for the rescue, shelter and reunification of animals with their humans - large and small - should disaster strike.

On Monday, why don't you call your county seat to find out if you have a plan for animals during crisis. If not, call the rescue agencies in your area, call a meeting, and get busy on putting one together. One thing I now without even asking is that people who live alone, seniors, the disabled - none of them will leave their companions behind without duress. As for me, I have prepared an emergency kit for my animals with food, bottled water, copies of their inoculation records, a small First Aid kit, extra plastic ID tags, collars and leashes, and a couple of toys. One is in the trunk of my car and the other in my basement storage area. About every six months or so I rotate the food to keep it fresh.

Now, after you've read everything and checked out the links, look into the eyes of your cats and dogs, birds, even fish and turtles. Then - imagine telling them "good-bye" and that you are sorry but you have to leave - not knowing if you were telling them the truth. Not pleasant, right? Today is the day to get busy - so GET BUSY!

Please, let Confucius know that you are participating this week in the PURR and that you will do your part in keeping those who are most helpless safe - and - ALIVE! Mimi and the gang.


Every year, hurricanes, tornadoes, hazardous-materials incidents, floods, earthquakes and other disasters threaten the animals who are so important to our lives. Members of The HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team (NDART™) learn how to prepare their families, help their community be better prepared and rescue and shelter animals when a disaster or crisis happens in their community or across the country.

If you are interested in joining HSUS NDART™ please read information on the following topics and recommended/required training: Prepare Your Family and Pets, Volunteer at your Local Animal Shelter

Training: NDART™ and Emergency Animal Sheltering Training, Federal Emergency Management Agency Training, Help Other Organizations, The HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team, Application to Join NDART™

Prepare Your Family and Pets

As a trained responder, your first priority is to make sure your family and pets are taken care of when a disaster or crisis strikes. Make a plan now, because when they are safe, you will be a more effective responder.

 Volunteering builds great skills
Start volunteering at your local animal shelter to gain practical experience in animal care and handling. This is excellent experience you can gain right in your own community.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Independent Study Program

Any disaster responder, whether paid or volunteer, must take the following courses in order to be part of disaster response:
Incident Command System (IS 100)
Incident Command System for Single Resources/Initial Action Incidents (IS 200)
National Incident Management System (NIMS), an Introduction (IS 700)

The HSUS strongly recommends all its responders take the following FEMA courses:
Animals in Disaster: Module A—Awareness and Preparedness (IS 10)
Animals in Disaster: Module B—Community Planning (IS 11)
Livestock in Disasters (IS 111)

The FEMA Independent Study program has many useful and informative courses, which are quick and easy to take at home. For those interested in holding a supervisory-level position during a disaster, please review the information contained in the FEMA Fact Sheet.

Help Other Organizations Active in Disaster Response

Are you unsure how you would react in a disaster situation, or even in a small-scale local emergency? Get some practical experience close to home and help your community, too.

American Red Cross:
While the Red Cross does not have response teams for animals, many local emergencies involving families do involve their pets. By being part of your local Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT), you can help pets and people, too. The Red Cross does not set up shelters for pets, but they do care about pets in emergencies. They need to work with local humane groups to help the community provide disaster services to families with companion animals.

Locate your local American Red Cross chapter and look for these recommended classes for NDART™ volunteers:
  • Human first aid/CPR
  • Pet first aid/CPR
  • Mass Care
  • Shelter Operations
Introduction to Disaster Services

Citizens Emergency Response Teams: The CERT program teaches you how to take care of your household and neighborhood until more help can arrive. CERT also trains citizens to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.

The HSUS Disaster Animal Response Team 

The HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team consists of animal care and control professionals, emergency services and rescue professionals, and other qualified volunteers. Team members are trained in community disaster response and preparedness as well as specialized response techniques for rescuing animals affected by disasters.

If you have skills and experience in animal handling, emergency/public services, or other disaster work and are interested in joining our DART, please explore the self-study courses listed above. Once you have taken several of these courses, particularly the FEMA Independent Study Programs, please visit the HSUS Animal Disaster Response Training Calendar to see when and where you can take HSUS disaster courses. Because of the overwhelming response from people wishing to be volunteers, please understand that it may take a little while for us to get back to you.

To apply to become a member of the HSUS National Disaster Animal Response Team, please fill out the application at Thank you for your support, and please make sure you have a disaster plan for your own family, including pets!

If you've read this far and took some notes or bookmarked some of the links, THANK YOU from the beating hearts filled with unconditional love that rest at your feet.  Mimi and her gang.

Week 17 of Purrs 4 Peace details are as follows: 
Week seventeen’s appointed time is Sunday, October 4, 2009.
  • Participants should purr for three minutes commencing at 3 p.m. EDT (U.S.) which is 8:00 p.m. (20:00 hrs.) BST in the U.K.
  • The cat’s human staff should assist their cats with the project by stroking and nuzzling the cat at the appointed time.
  • Please post your cat name and the country you purr in at as a COMMENT if you are participating in this historic project. (posting a link to your own website-if you have one-is encouraged.) Or let me know by message on twitter or facebook.
  • Posting purrs on facebook ( Acolytes of Confucius Cat or as friend to Alley Mason) and twitter (@ConfuciusCat) is encouraged, since it inspires purring in others, but not required. On twitter please use #purrs4peace in your tweets.


Kenia Cris said...

Hello there Scout and Freyja! This is an important post for people all around the world since changes in climate have been making it difficult for many people to forecast natural disasters.

Our house was flooded two years ago, at that time we had only two dogs - Tutti and Jack - and they were terrified, you could totally tell it from their eyes.

We managed to take them out of the house before water reached them standing on the living room sofa, but even after we were all safe outside the house, you could see in their eyes they were really panicked.

Since then, they run inside whenever it starts raining heavily - guess they're traumatized.

My heart aches when rains comes and washes people's houses away - it happens a lot here in Brazil, you know, people do forget about their pets, and it's even sadder to me.

Much love kids!

T said...

Thia is a very informative and important post. Thank you for posting this. It is important for people to be prepared, especially with pets. Disaster can hit at any time, and many times when we least expect it.

Emma Rose said...

Thank you for the reminder about an emergency kit. We will get to work on that right away. Also, the information about volunteering opportunities is priceless! Thanks again.

Bailey said...

Such good advice and info - thanks for be MY friend, and all animals' friends!

Benny and Lily said...

Thank you for reminding everyone there are scary things out there
Benny & Lily

Raising Addie said...

We just hate to see pets left behind during natural disasters. Each hurricane that we see some poor pets are always left to fend for themselves. We don't know why those people have pets if they were not willing to care for them in ALL aspects!

We are always prepared for the entire family. No one gets left behind here.

As for Hailey, since it was not our regular vet we are not sure what was wrong. When I picked her up her right leg caused her pain near her arm pit. The vet that was open stated some terms I didn't understand then went to prepare the X-ray room. As Hailey waited I noticed her getting better. When they came to get her I told the assistant that she was feeling much better. By the time Hailey came back from the X-ray she was literally perfectly fine. My best guess is that she twisted it or jammed it. Once Hailey calmed down and walked around a little she worked it out and was fine. I believe she was mostly shocked at what had happened and so she screamed.

I know that the X-ray was precautionary but I wonder if my regular vet would have done one. Some times its more about money with some than if it is really necessary.

Is she a little bit of a drama queen... probably!

Thank you very much for your concern!!!

Have a great Sunday!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Great post! This is an especially important issue in places like Southern California, where we routinely have to evacuate hundreds if not thousands of animals during our apparently-annual wildfires.

chicamom85 said...

Wow that is such good information. Thank you Scout and Freyja!! Mommy is going to print this all up and save it. You are good friends to pass that on.

licks and sniffs, Sasha

dewdana said...

Happy WAD! We did not know until now but Moose is wagging! THank you for such an informative post. We live in a major hurricane area so have a personal evacuation plan that we KNOW is only a matter of time until it is activated. Our community has a few animal friendly evacuation shelters but that is a relatively new post-Katrina thing. Just the thought of saying goodbye to my Moose puts a horrid knot in my stomach and I don't think I could do it!
Also thanks for the tips on recall training. I have creaky knees and back so I don't naturally crouch down to get his interest (plus he is huge) but will start trying it b/c now that you mention it I am nearly certain it will help a lot! One time before we started training he got loose and would not come close enough for me to catch him until I sat down in the middle of the road and he came right up! I would like to incorporate a sit to the recall too but he is incredibly good at ducking away when I go for his collar that I really wanted to work on that first since my brain can only remember to do so many things at once! ANyway, Thanks for your suggestions, I am excited to try it on our next walk ;-)

The OP Pack said...

Another wonderful post with so much outstanding information to share.

Woos, the OP Pack

KB said...

Thank you for the important reminder. We have very localized plans in place for neighbors to help with each others' animals but perhaps I can play a more official role. Thanks.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Thank you for all this great information! My human feels guilty because she always means to make a disaster plan/pack for me but then always forgets! And Auckland is in a tsunami area too!!
Part of what puts her off is reading the lists which say things like "Put aside enough food * water for your pet to last for 3 days" - well, if she had to do that for me, she would need an entire garden shed to store it! And we live in a very small 2 bedroom flat as it she always just gives up. But you are right - it is good to be prepared.

Honey the Great Dane


Hi Scout & Freyja
You are so right about being prepared. Mom took a class with United Animal Nations a couple years about to volunteer for disasters rescues. Haven't kept up with it.. but this is a clear reminder to have a plan and emergency kit.

tula said...

Yep, same as Norwood, my cuzin. I'm on the list of volunteering for the UAN. Maybe should try more local stuff since the UAN responds to National disasters.. hard to have that much time off of work. EMERGENCY KIT- next on the agenda. must needed. thanks for the tips!

belly rubs, tula

The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey S&F,
A very informative and important post. Lots of stuff to cover to be prepared.

Teddy Bear said...

You guys are so informative. Thank you so much for this important message.

Teddy Bear

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Another great pawing from The Mitten State!

We are furry lukhky in that our khounty has made arrangements fur disasters - we have a place to be taken if need be -

PeeEssWoo: And our SPCA is khwite khool with an abuse programme too - since many abusees stay with the abusers fur the sake of not knowing where to go with the pets!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. My sis and I agree and have a plan in place. There is no way we would evacuate without our pets and that includes our tortoises. I have an suv and can easily fit my 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 tortoise, as well as her dog/cat/tortoise and our parents' dog if we have her. They are more important any any belonging and I'd leave it all behind to save my babies.

Angelika said...

Thank you for this amazing post! So vitally important!