NAPPS Provides Fire Safety Advice to Pet Parents in the Southwestern United States
Disaster Preparation is Essential for Pet Parents
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., June 22, 2011 – Wildfires are unpredictable and frightening, and can wreak havoc on nature and the surrounding communities. Not to be forgotten, the safety of the family pet is essential in these devastating emergency situations.
While the loss of one’s home is sometimes unavoidable, the loss of a pet can often be prevented with focused preparation. In response to the wildfires spreading across the Southwestern United States, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals, offers fire safety and evacuation strategies for pet parents.
“Household pets can sometimes be forgotten in emergency situations,” explains John D’Ariano, President of NAPPS. “The key to pet safety in an emergency situation is preparedness.”
To protect pets in areas threatened by wildfires, NAPPS recommends the following actions:
Fire Safety Tips
- At all times, it is important to have an emergency supply kit for your pet, including a pet identification form with photos, microchip number, shot records, food, water, veterinarian and emergency contact information (including one contact outside of the emergency area,) first aid supplies, and a three-week supply of medications. Keep the emergency kit in a sealed, waterproof bag or container.
- Plan several evacuation routes with your pets in case fire blocks your escape. If you have horses or livestock, make arrangements ahead of time for a place to temporarily relocate them. Parks, animal shelters, rodeos, fairgrounds, or family and friends’ homes may be options available to you. Pack portable fencing for a temporary corral.
- If possible, keep a large animal trailer hitched at all times to a dedicated vehicle with a full gas tank for a smooth and quick evacuation with horses and livestock.
- The most common cause of death in fires and the days afterward are complications from smoke inhalation. All pets exposed to fire should be monitored for smoke inhalation pneumonia. A veterinarian should be consulted immediately for any burn injuries. Burn injuries can often require intensive care.
- Attach alert stickers to your windows and doors to show rescue workers that there are pets in the home that need rescuing.
- Care must be taken in re-entering burned areas. There may be hot spots that could flare up without warning. Partially burned structures and trees can be very unstable and may suddenly fall over. Do not tie animals to burned trees or allow animals into areas where there may be ash pits (root systems that have burned underground).
- Debris from burned buildings should be removed before animals re-enter the area. Metal pipes heated during a fire may be coated with toxic residues from the heat damaged galvanized components.
NAPPS provides a comprehensive guide to disaster preparation for pet parents at its website. The guide includes disaster preparation tips, pet identification forms, disaster preparation checklists, and preparation information for specific natural disasters.
In addition to disaster preparation, NAPPS equips pet parents with the tools to face everyday pet emergencies through its pet parent resource page on its website.
About NAPPS: NAPPS is the only national nonprofit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of professional pet sitters. The Association aims to help the pet owning public, those interested in pet sitting, and professionals engaged in the in-home pet care industry by fulfilling its vision statement, serving as “the most respected authority in professional pet sitting.” It does so by providing the tools and support to foster the success of its members. Additionally, pet parents can benefit from NAPPS’ free resources including a disaster preparedness guide, tips on how to select a pet sitter, and a nationwide referral service,. To find a pet sitter in your area, check out NAPPS’ nationwide “Pet Sitter Locator” at www.petsitters.org. For more information on NAPPS, please follow @TheNAPPS on Twitter or join us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNAPPS.