Camy Thumwood is a Pet Safety & Disaster Preparedness Consultant which is passionate about pet safety education to help all pet parents provide their pets with a safer and happier life. She is the author of “Guide to Pet Safety Saving the Entire Family” Disaster Preparation and Reference and is the founder of Pet Alert. Pet Alert is a company dedicated to pet safety and fire life safety education that focuses on safeguarding first responders and animals during 911 emergency situations, and offers the “only” all-in-one Pet Alert Emergency Information System kit. Camy is also a proud member of Fire, Safety, Emergency Mgmt. and Pet Training Organizations such as IAFC, SEAFC, SAFC, CSAF, IAEM, IPAT, PPG, PSG. “Knowledge is power and your pet depends on you and your knowledge, especially in an emergency.”
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Dog Fire Life Safety TipsTips for Dog People1. It is also important that your neighbors know your dog’s name. 2. If the dog is loose in the neighborhood, it will respond better to someone who knows its name.3. Another good reason for your neighbors to know your dog’s name is to assist emergency responders. 4. If the firefighters get your dog’s name from neighbors it can help them interact with your dog and calm it down.5. All dogs should be taught to come when called. In case of fire, a solid recall command can be a lifesaver.6. The key is to practice calling your dog and reward the response.7. Make a point of expecting your dog to always come when called and keep these interactions positive. It’s important that the dog learns that coming to you means coming to a positive experience and not just going to the vet or leaving someplace fun like the park.8. Once your dog’s response to coming when commanded is consistent, you’ll want to train under distracting circumstances, too. 9. You will be glad you did should you ever need to persuade your dog to follow you through smoke, noise and flashing lights.10. Invest in a Pet Alert Emergency Information System kit to give proper info during a house fire.11. Practice fire safety by checking your smoke detectors monthly.
Cat Fire Life Safety TipsTips for Cat People1. Being able to locate your cat is critical in an emergency.2. Cats don’t usually come when you call, so you will need to know where yours hides when it is stressed and scared.3. Watch your cat to see where it goes when you turn on the vacuum cleaner, when strangers come to visit, or when you test your smoke alarm. Wherever your cat goes in these moments is likely where you will find it in the event of a fire.4. The first objective in a house fire is to get yourself to safety, but if you do have time to get your cat, be prepared. Learn to grab your cat by the scruff of the neck. This means latching on to the loose skin directly at the back of your cat’s neck. This will allow you to carry it without getting bitten. Once you’ve grabbed the cat, a pillowcase makes a great emergency carrier if you don’t happen to have a cat carrier available.5. Keep in mind, as well, that cats may run out of the house during an emergency and get frighten and lost.6. Be prepared by having a Name ID tag on your cat’s collar and have your cat wear it 24/7, as well as having your cat microchipped. 7. It may also help if your neighbors know that you have a cat, especially if your cat only lives indoors. It is also helpful if your neighbors are familiar with your cat and know its name and color.8. Note: Only two percent of cats brought to rescue facilities are ever reunited with their owners. 9. The more you can do to help facilitate a reunion with your feline friend, the better!10. Invest in a Pet Alert Emergency Information System kit to give proper info quickly.11. Practice fire safety by checking your smoke detectors monthly.
The simple facts; Why pets suffer the most from disastersAfter every natural and man-made disaster, we see and hear about countless misplaced and homeless pets of all types. Which is heart breaking and takes tolls on many pets, people and resources and the major factors that hinder pets and their safety are their parent’s attitudes about disasters. These are the biggest obstacles that take so many pet lives;1. Complacency. 98% of people think that a disaster will never happen to them or that they will have time to prepare when a disaster is imminent. In most cases, like fire or flood, your lead time will be minimal to retrieve needed supplies, valuables and your lives. You need to deliberately plan ahead and not let you and your pets become victims.2. Procrastination. Even if people understand the threats they may be involved with during a disaster, people just don’t know where to start or what to plan for, so they put it off for later. Putting not only themselves in jeopardy, but their pets that rely on them.3. Not taking action. Just talking about what needs to be done, does not solve the problem. You need to act. Know you must make those critical steps and educate yourself, get organized, rely on your preparation and your resources to stay safe and save lives.4. Abandonment. Because of not enough time and failed attempts to plan.
Disasters Info For Pet ParentsIn today’s busy life style, we tend to forget that we must prepare for the worst and in today’s news headlines that message is becoming even clearer. Disaster and medical emergencies do happen, and that is why all pet parents should take action not only for your family, but for your pets as well, as they depend on you for their survival.Here are ten top things you should do if you have pets before, during and after a disaster;1.Always,alwayshaveidentificationonyourpet!Evenifyourpethasatattoooridchip theyshouldwearanIDtag,don’tassumeeveryoneknowsyourpet.TheIDshould includethePet’sName,YourNameandaContactPhoneNumber(preferablyyourcell) andnote“NeedsRX”,ifthepetneedsmedicationdailyor“Handicapped”,ifyourpetis blind or deaf or has a difficult physical disability like bad arthritis, etc.2.UseanemergencyinformationkitlikethePetAlertEmergencyInformationkitthatcan helpidentifyallyourpetsandallvitalinformationneededtoprotectthemathomeor while traveling or in the event something happens to you.3.Alwayshaveemergencyphonenumbersavailableandnearyourhomephone,incaseof anemergencyormedicalneed.Soevenifyoucan’tcallforhelp,someoneelsecanand willknowwhomtocall.Thephonelistshouldincludeyourveterinarianandemergency animalclinicnearesttoyourhome,withyourcontactnumbers(i.e.,cell,work),plus someonethatcancareforyouranimalsformorethanafewhours,suchasafriendor pet sitter.4.Doapetsafetycheckinandaroundyourhome,tohelplessenimmediatedangers. Checkforunstableobjects,topheavybookcases,dangerouschemicalsthatarenot contained,etc.Youcanfindalistandmoreinformationtokeepyourpetssafefrom everyday hazardous in the book, the “Guide to Pet Safety”.5.Know your pet’s vital signs so you know if they are ill or need help.6.Knowwhattodoifyourpetisinjuredandhowtotransportthemcorrectlyaninjureddog is transported differently from an injured cat for intense.7.PrepareaPoisonousIncidentandFirst-AidkitforyourpetandincludeaFirst-Aidbook that is appropriate for your pet for proper information during a medical emergency.8.PrepareaDisasterEvacuationkitthatincludesallyourpetsandtheirneedsfora minimumof3to10days.Makesureitincludesanymedicationthatyourpetrequiresin you kit and health records.9.Don’tassumethatyourneighborsorfriendswillbeavailableduringanemergencyto helpyouoryourpets.Youshouldalsorealizefirstresponderswillnotknowaboutyour pets either and their presence may frighten your pet.10.Thekeytosavinglivesistopre-plansoyouknowwhattodo“before,duringandafter”a natural or man-made disaster strikes in your area.11.Tohelpyouunderstandwhatisneededandhowtoprepareforallyourpetseasily,I encourageeverypetparenttousethe“GuidetoPetSafety”forthevitalinformationit teachesyou.Itprovidesstepbystepinstructionstocompletethelistaboveandmuch moretobepetsafe.Educatingyourselfandkeepingcontrolofyourpetduringadisaster oremergency,notonlycankeepyourpetsafebuthelpemergencypersonnelandothers trying to do their jobs.
Don’t Leave Your Pet Behind
Friendsshouldn’tleavefriendsbehind.Wemustn'tforgetthatweareourpets’guardiansand our pets rely on their pet parents for everything.Pet parents that love their pets should take these following steps to protect their pets:1.Recognizethescopeofthehazardousconcernsandtheirresponsibilitythatlieson themfortheirpet’shealthandsafetyalongwiththeirsduringemergenciesand underlyingenvironmentalthreatsthatcanhappenintheirarea(fire,flood,earthquake, hurricanes, etc.).2.Knowthebarenecessitiesthatwillhelpprotectyourtypeofpetindifferenttypeof situations.Remembertherequirementsforpetsafetyandevacuationaredifferent,and allemergenciesarenotthesame,suchasahousefirevs.hurricane. Youmustconsider thedifferenttypesofplanningthatmayberequiredforthependingdangerandthetype ofpetinvolved.Forexample,itdoesn’tmakesensetopreparefortransportationof horses if you have dogs.3.Implementthesolution.Bepetalert,bypreparingandeducatingyourself.Learnto protectyourpetfromeverydayhazardsandwhatyou’llbeinvolvedwithintheeventof adisasterandmostimportantlywhatwillberequiredafterthedisastertokeepyouand yourpetsafeandhealthy.Takeaction,helpyourpetsbeabletocountonyouin troubledtimesbybeingpreparedandbyknowingwhattodo.Remember,youareyour pet’s guardian; for their life and their needs, all the time.4.Don’tforget“outoftheordinary”.Mostpeoplethinkofpetsafetyanddisaster preparednessasbeingjustforsmallhouseholdpetssuchasacatoradog,butmany petsincludereptiles,fish,andlargerpets,suchashorses.Thesetypesofpetstake morepreparationandmayrequirefoodsthatmaynotbeavailableafterthedisaster,so bereadywithsupplies.Beresponsible,theseusualpetscancausemuchstrifetoour natural wildlife and environment during a disaster if let lose.5.Rehearseyourdisasterplanatleastonceayeartoensurethatotherswhomaybe requiredtohelpimplementitareawareofitandanychanges,don’tassume.Makesure allrequireditemsinyourpetdisasterkitandpetfirst-aidkitarenotexpired,ifsoreplace them. Prevention is the best protection.To help you understand what is needed and how to prepare for all your pets easily, the “Guide to Pet Safety” provides step by step instructions to complete the list above and much more on how to be pet safe every day. Educating yourself and keeping control of your pet during a disaster or emergency, not only can keep your pet safe, but help emergency personnel and others trying to do their jobs.
Precautions Dog and Cat Parents Should Know1.WatchoutfortheCounter-surfing:Ifyourdogistallenoughonhishindlegstocounter surforisstartenoughtoclimbupbyjumpingonthingsremovestoveknobswhenever youleavethehouse.TheNationalFireProtection Associationstatesastoveorcooktop isthenumber-onecauseoffiresstartedbypets.Yourseenthecommercialabout“HOT DOG”thedogthatjumpsupforthepizzaonthestove.Dog’spawscanhitoneofthe burnersorbuttonsandturntheburneron.Theheatorflamewillthensetfiretoitemson or near the stove.2.WatchoutfortheEinsteinpetor“Curiouspet”thatunintentionallystartsfiresbyknocking overlamps,candles,spaceheaters,orspreadhotembersorashesfromfireplacesor ashtrays.Orbychewingonelectricalcords,tanglingthemselvesonitemsandpulling them down can cause a fire. 3.Makesureyourpetsarealwayswearingproperlyfittedcollars(2fingerslose)with personalidentification,rabiesandlicensetags,ifrequiredbyyourarea.Identificationis key, for a pet’s reunion.4.Forpeoplethatdon’tlikejinglingdogtagsyoucanpurchaseembroidereddogcollarsor just put some clear packing tape on the tags to stop the clicking.5.Keepleashesnearthedoorwhenyouarenothome,sofirstresponderscanusethemto leadpetstosafety.Healthypetmaybewaitingatdoorsandrunoutwhenfirefighters comein,howeverwillneedtobecontained.Providingaleashorcarrierjustincase,for first responders that can save time and lives.6.Provideanimalswithanescaperouteintheformofapetdoororforinsidepets.Ifyou createthemorhavecagedbirdsit’sbettertokeepthemnearyourfrontdoorforeasy excess, and preferable not in the kitchen where most fires start.7.Notepetsaremorelikelytobeinjuredortodieinafirewhentheyarelockedinakennel or room.8.RemembersmokekillsquicklyandDogshyperventilatewhenexcited.Birdshavesmall lungs and have very little time in smoke before they are overcome.9.Soeventhoughwethinkourhomeissafefromaccidents,everyoneshouldbeprepared and plan.10.Know where you will take or leave your pets.11.Incaseyouarenothomewhendisasterstrikes,arrangeinadvanceforaneighborto checkonortransportyourpets.Makesureyourneighborshaveyourcontactnumbers (cell phone, work, home, etc.).12.Rememberpetsmaynotbeallowedinsidehumanemergencyshelters-havean alternate prearranged location to take your animals.13.Eachanimalshouldhaveitsownpetcarrier.Birds,rodentsandreptilesshouldbe transported in cages. 14.Covercageswithalightsheetorclothtominimizetheirfearfromtravelingandstrange surroundings. If you have fish keep appropriate container with lids available.15.Storevaccination/medicalrecords,veterinarycontactinformation,proofofowner-ship,a current photo, and a Disaster Preparedness Kit in one location.16.Keep your pet’s name on collar/container/halter with your cell phone number.17.Always take your pet with you during an evacuation But if You Must Leave Your Pet:1.Bring them indoors. Never leave pets chained outdoors!2.Usearoomwithnowindowsandadequateventilation,suchasautilityroom,garage, bathroom, or other area that can be easily cleaned.3.Do not tie pets up!4.Leaveonlydryfoodsandfreshwaterinnon-spillcontainers.Ifpossibleopenafaucetto let water drip into a large container or partially fill a bathtub with water.
Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit
Prepare a Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit that contains enough of the items listed below for each pet;1.Pet carrier for each pet2.Picture of pet with yourself3.Copy of health records and rabies certificate (if required)4.Two-week supply of food and water5.Non-spill food and water bowls6.Medications and dosing instructions written down7.Cat litter box and litter8.Plastic bags for waste disposal9.Paper towels10.Disinfectants11.Leashes/collars/harnesses12.Blankets13.Toys and treats14.Newspaper15.Flashlight and extra batteries16.Pet first-aid kit
Smoke KillsSmoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in house fires! BeinginahousefireisjustlikestandinginthesmokefromacampfireorBBQbutnotbeing abletogetaway,withinminutesyouwouldstarttochokeandsufferfromsmokeinhalation. However,inahousefirethesmokeismoretoxicduetothegasesreleasedfromotherburning objects.Onceyoustarttoinhalethesmoke,youarenotgettingenoughoxygenforyourbody tofunctionanddependingonthedensityandheatofthesmoke,itmaytakeonly2to10 minutes for you to pass out or even die.Why?Duringafirethefireburnsoxygen,soasafirecontinuestobeactive,moreoxygengets removedfromtheroomandsmokeputstoomuchcarbonmonoxideintoyourlungswhich prohibitsoxygengettingintoyourbody.Only15minutesofstraightsmoke(0%oxygen)would kill you. In just 5-10 minutes it could cause permanent brain damage in humans.Justlikehumans,petscandieorsufferfrombraindamagedependinguponthelocationofthe housefireandhowhotandfastitisburning.Ihavenotedbelowjusthowlittletimeyourpet has before it suffers from smoke inhalation.Birds only have a few minutes due to their small lungs. Dogsusuallygetexcited,panicandhyperventilateduringafire,sotheyinhalesmokefaster and have usually about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Catsusuallyhideandlaylowwherethesmokeisless,sotheyhavethelongestchanceto strive, usually about 15-20 minutes. OtherCagedpetsareatthemercyoftheirlocationandthetypeoffire.Especiallydogs locked in crates during the day.Being prepared with proper information at hand can save both human and pet lives.
Why Window Stickers are Not Enough?Didyouknowonanaverageday,aphonecallismadetoanemergencyrescueagencyabout every second in the US. Manyoftheseemergencysituationsinvolvepets,whichmayneedrescuingfromhousefires, buildingcollapses,automobileaccidents,unforeseenaccidents(pettrappedorinjured),and abandonmentduetothepetparents’medicalemergencyordeath.Unfortunately,thestatistics ofpet’sdyinginhousefireshaveNOTchangein20yrs.eventhoughthereareover100 differenttypesofpetwindowstickerssoldandcountless“free”stickersthatcontinuetobe handed out.Why?Thereasonbehindthisdisparityissomewhatofashocker:Emergencypersonnelsuch asfirefighters,paramedicsandpoliceofficersallreportthattheyignorethesestickers.Some evencallthesewindowstickersa“hazardtoemergencypersonnel”becausetheyarefaced with another “boy who cried wolf” situation. Whydotheyfeelthisway?Toooftenfirefightersrisktheirlivessearchingforpetsthatweren’t there,followingtheurgentrequestofa“HelpMyPet”stickerthatwasoutdatedorhadbeen placed on the window by the previous tenants. Firefightersalsocitethetimeelementasacriticalfactorintheracetosavelives,bothhuman andanimalsandstate“Inemergencysituations,timeisoftheextremelyimportantandhaving allthepet’sdetails,especiallytheirname,fearfactorsandhandicapsisveryhelpful”.Pet parentsmustunderstandanimalsonlyhavebetween5to20minutesbeforetheysufferfrom smokeinhalationanddie,dependingontheirlungsize,typeofanimalandlocationinthefire, sobeingpreparediscrucialtosaveapet’slife,particularlywithdogsthathyperventilatewhen excited.Theirpet’ssurvivalcountsonthem,especiallyiftheirpetistrappedorunconsciousin a house fire, auto accident.It’s not that pet parents are uncaring in leaving their animals open to potential jeopardy. Rather,mostpeoplesimplydonotfullyappreciatehowmuchtheirpetsandanimalsdependon them as caregivers for their very existence and future. Petparentsmustrealizeawindowstickeraloneisnotenoughandcannotfilltheseneedsof first responders when time is running short.ThatiswhythePet AlertEmergencyInformationSystem(E.I.S.)kitwascreatedanddesigned tomeettheirrequirements.Whatisneededtohelpfirstrespondersduringa911callthat involves pets?Thepetinformationmustbeup-to-dateandaccurateaspossible,whichiseasilyaccessibleat thesceneoftheemergency,whichisnotstationaryorattachedtoawindowpane,andshould bereadableinpoorvisibility,suchassmokeandthroughafirefighter’sairmask.plusbeableto be evacuated with the pets. TheInformationshouldinclude;whattypeofpetisinthehouse,autoorRV,howmany,what locationorroom,ifcaged,anyhealthissues,phonecontactsandowners’name,caregiver’s info,andeachpets’namesinordertoprotectfirstrespondersandassistinthepet’srescue.Allinformationshouldnotbevisiblefromoutsidethehometopreventstrangersfromusingit. Allpetinformationshouldbeportablesoitcanbetakenwiththeanimals,ifevacuationis needed.Tohelpfirstrespondersknowwhattypeofpettheyaredealingwithinanemergency outsidethehomepetinformationshouldbeavailableduringvehicletravel,especiallyduring out-of-state trips.
Tips for Boarding Your PetTIP #1: Choose the boarding facility wisely!1.Ask your veterinarian or a friend for recommendations of local facilities.2.Look for online reviews.3.Ask facility if they require full proof of vaccination from all animals prior to boarding.4.Ask if all animals are required to be on flea and tick preventives.5.Ask what steps are taken in the event of an emergency.6.Ask for a tour of the facility.TIP #2: Contact your veterinarian’s office to make an appointment for your pet at least three weeks before your pet will be boarded.1.Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations.2.Make certain that heartworm, intestinal worming and flea treatments are current.3.Request a copy of your pet’s health records.4.Microchip your pet or make sure microchip information is up-to-date.TIP #3: Before your vacation begins, compile the following to leave with your pet’s caregiver:1.Vacation contact2.Emergency contact information of local friend3.Family veterinarian’s name, address and telephone number4.Prescription information with a written explanation of dosage requirements and administration times5.Prepared food for meals in easy-to-give packages6.Pet’s favorite toys and bedding are readily availableTIP #4: Consider the alternatives (if pet is elderly, afraid of strangers or nervous in different environments).1.Arrange for a friend or relative to pet sit.2.Ask your veterinarian about products available to calm your pet during stressful situations.3.If hiring a pet sitter, be sure to interview them and check their references.4.Also make sure that both your pet and the sitter are compatible.
Tips for Pet Parents about surviving a WildfireHousefiresarenottheonlyfirestoconsider.Wildfiresandforestfireshappenandsometimes withoutmuchnoticewhenitcomestoevacuating.Ifyouhappentoseeaforestorwildfirecall 911andreportit,neverassumethatsomeoneelsehasalreadydoneitandgetpreparedfor an evacuation.Before the fire approaches your home:1.Wear protective clothing.2.Closealldoorsinsidethehousetopreventdraft.Openthedampertothefireplaceifyou have one and close the fireplace screen.3.Close all outside attic, eaves, and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors.4.Removeallflammabledrapesandcurtains,closetheshutters,blindsoranyheavynon-combustible window coverings that will help reduce radiant heat.5.Shutoffanynaturalgas,propaneorfueloilsuppliesatthesource(knowingwherethese are should be in your disaster plan).6.Connectgardenhoses,fillpools,hottubs,garbagecan,tubsandothertypesof containers that will hold water.7.Disconnectanyautomaticgaragedooropenerssothatthedoorscanstillbeopenedby hand if the power goes out.8.Close all garage doors to discourage unwelcomed guests.9.Loadyourcarwithyourevacuationkits,pets,familymembers,knowwhereyouare going and alert someone that you are on your way.10.Make your home more visible in heavy smoke by turning on all lights outside and inside.11.Evacuate and take your pets.If you are not able to evacuate:Stayinyourhomeandclosethewindowsanddoorstokeepasmuchsmokeoutofyourhome as possible.Precautions to consider in your plan:1.Haveanescaperouteandhavemorethanonewayoutofyourhomeandoffyour property and practice with your pets.2.Knowyourpets’hidingplaceswhentheygetscared,thisiswhereyourpetwillmost likely to be and can save variable time.3.Secure your pet with a leash/halter or carrier in case they panic and run.4.Prepareemergencykitsforyourpet–includefood,water,bowls,catlitter&pan, medicationsorprescriptionsandvetpaperwork.Itisimportanttoalwaysincludeaphoto of your pets in case they get lost, with vaccination records, and proof of ownership.5.Protectingyourpetsfromfireisimportant.Don’tleaveyourpetsandarrangeforasafe placeforthemtostayduringtheevacuationperiod.NotemostRedCrosssheltersdonot allow pets.Developingafamilyemergencyevacuationplanthatincludesyourpetsandpracticeit.The key to dealing with fire is to be alert and prepared to save lives and valuable time.