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2017

NFPA’s Firewise USA program has partnered with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) to produce a series of five monthly Wildfire Research Fact Sheets. The first edition was released today and focuses on roofing materials.

 

Each month the series will highlight a component of the home that has been researched by IBHS. Future editions will include: Vents, Decking, Fencing and Coatings.

 

The fact sheets are downloadable and available in a format that provides wildfire stakeholders with the ability to add their logo.

 

Every edition will provide residents living in areas with a wildfire risk with important research information they can incorporate into the risk reduction projects they’re implementing at their personal residences. They also provide forestry agencies and fire departments with a valuable tool that can be added to their websites and used as a community handout/resource.

Research released in early June in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres highlights smoke plume particulate data from wildfires in 2013. Its findings show that wildfire smoke emits three times as much small particulate matter – referred scientifically as PM1, meaning particulate measuring 1 micrometer across – than previously thought. Common forms of regulated air pollution are measured at PM2.5.

 

Scientists collected this initial data in 2013 flying directly through smoke plumes of three separate wildfires in a NASA-owned DC-8 equipped as a flying air quality laboratory.

 

The concern by those focused on respiratory issues is that this much smaller particulate matter can deposit more effectively into human lungs as the smoke settles. Dust in lungs can lead to blood pressure, heart attack, and cancer concerns.

 

Interestingly, during these flights, the researchers also flew through the plumes of prescribed fires and found much lower levels of PM1 particulates.

 

While prescribed burns are obviously much smaller then fully-involved wildfires, that is also a lesson the researchers offer in their report. As described to me by a local fire official some time ago, prescribed fires permit you to put a small amount of smoke in the air when you want it, with specific mitigation goals, instead of a wildfire putting a massive amount of smoke in the air and burning everything, when you don’t want it.

 

In a scientific sense, one of the researchers, Greg Huey from Georgia Tech, explains in the Atlantic article that, “because wildfires burn everything in their path, but do it incompletely and inconsistently, they produce an especially dirty and complicated chemical pattern.”

 

Further research is needed because of the small scale of this initial research coming from three fires in western states.

 

In a related video I saw three days later, Utah’s KSL News Chopper 5 is collecting similar particulate data from smoke updrafts as it captures images from current Brian Head Fire. This data goes to the Atmospheric Sciences Department of the University of Utah, as they assess smoke pollution impacts on neighboring Utah cities.

 

Photo Credit: NIFC public photo library, smoke, pulled 29June17

An image of smoke from the Brian Head Fire taken from a NASA satellite

According to a CNN news report up to this date, 1 million more acres than the national average have been burnt by wildfire this year.  According to the InciWeb site, there are 19 active wildfires in Arizona alone.   The Arizona governor has declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires to try and secure additional funding to suppress them.

 

In Utah, one large wildfire has caused the evacuation of almost 1,500 people.  Images from NASA’s satellites show smoke emanating from the Brian Head Fire in Utah drifting over to Colorado. A map on the CAL FIRE website indicates that are currently 6 active wildfires in California. 

 

With wildfires growing in number and intensity, it is important that homeowners learn how they can take simple steps that can help to protect property and lives.   NFPA provides resources and information that can be used by homeowners, policy makers, insurers, emergency management organizations, fire departments, schools and more to help create communities that are safer from wildfire.

Immense time and effort are put into naming everything from our children, to businesses, products and even our pets; and that was also the case, when after more than fifteen years, NFPA ever so slightly changed the name and logo of its cornerstone wildfire risk reduction program, Firewise Communities/USA® to Firewise USA™.

 

The tagline, Residents Reducing Wildfire Risks was also recently added to emphasize the actions program participants are committed to implementing throughout the 42 states with active programs, where residents are working to make where they live a safer place when wildfires occur.

 

By removing the word communities from the program’s name, which recent feedback revealed, often created an illusion that areas of risk had to be part of a formal homeowners or property association to participate, (which was definitely not the case), will engage more residents into collaboratively working with their neighbors to actively reduce their wildfire risks. The name was also frequently confused with Fire Adapted Communities, a concept where a fire adapted community accepts wildfire as part of the natural landscape and takes responsibility for its risk and community members understand the risk and have proactively implemented collaborative mitigation actions. Those actions address resident and home safety,  neighborhoods, businesses, infrastructure, forests, parks, open space and other community assets. Firewise USA in an important part of being a Fire Adapted Community and one does not replace the other.

 

Through the minor name change, it’s anticipated that more neighborhoods will understand the value and benefits of participating in the program and will choose to complete the program’s required annual criteria to become a recognized Firewise USA™ site.

 

To learn more about how you and your neighbors can become a participant visit Firewise.org.

Pictures of Australian fire danger rating scale and Cathy in the Australian bush shared by Cathy Brown

Cathy Brown a consultant with the business systems and Information services at the NFPA, shared what it was like growing up in Australia with wildfires.  She shared that wildfire season which arrived every year with ash and burning leaves was just a part of growing up.

 

As a child, Cathy and her family were just as used to seeing burning leaves fly over their tile roofs and seeing smoke as some people are used to seeing snow flying in the winter.  “We always saw blackened trees in the area when we drove along the bush line and did not think it was unusual.  It was a part of nature and the way things worked.  As a child, we were used to wildfire not scared of it.”   She shared that as a child she recognized that it simply was a part of Australian human life and important natural occurrence for certain trees like the Banksia trees that need fire to reproduce.

 Picture of flowers from a Banksia tree shared by Cathy Brown

 

In Australia, she said that her family’s home was constructed with wildfire in mind. The family home was built with a nonflammable tile roof and other non-combustible materials like brick.  It was also understood that it was important to be careful about what you planted around your house and that you did not plant flammable vegetation close to the house.  Her parents shared what they needed to do in case there was a fire; to be ready to leave quickly.  Only once did they wake up in the early morning hours because a wildfire was getting close.

 

In Australia, fire brigades have a different kind of warning system than the usual designations here in the states.  Their warning system even had extreme and catastrophic categories. She also shared that fires in Australia are also often caused by people.  Cathy’s family had a plan about what to do if there was a wildfire.  They prepared their home, and as a result, her family never panicked but accepted wildfire as a part of life.  Help your family feel more secure about living in areas where wildfires occur by making a plan and preparing your home.

Firewise USA, wildfire safety, Oregon, wildfire preparedness

 

Firewise USA™ welcomes Ashley Blakely, Public Information Officer and Fire & Life Safety Specialist, Jackson Country Fire District 3, White City, Oregon, as our guest blogger. Below is her account of Southern Oregon’s first Firewise Expo held in May. Ashley asked NFPA if she could share the success of the event and its activities with other community residents living in high-risk wildfire areas.

 

In May, fire agencies and emergency managers from Jackson and Josephine counties hosted the first ever Southern Oregon Firewise Expo held in White City at Fire District 3 regional training grounds. Over the two-day period, close to 1,100 community members visited the Expo to take part in hands-on learning that focused on burn pile safety and construction, poor vs. proper planning in the home ignition zone, and tips for how to identify fire-resistant and fire-prone plants within their landscape. 

 

Fire personnel from multiple local agencies facilitated several interactive demonstrations that highlighted how the community and their families could better prepare themselves and their home for fire season.


"The live fire demonstrations were especially impactful for landowners to experience. Southern Oregon is highly susceptible to wildfire and some of the more common fire-prone plants such as juniper, cypress and arborvitae, are commonly placed near the home. We wanted to show how vulnerable these types of plants could be to a home in the event of a wildfire," said Ashley Lara, Fire District 3 Fire & Life Safety Specialist and National Fire Adapted Communities Network Member.


There were also plenty of other demonstrations that fire crews helped with, including proper chipping techniques and how to make an emergency preparedness kit. For those who were interested in fire science, there was a discussion around the science behind Firewise landscaping [limiting the amount of flammable vegetation and materials surrounding the home and increasing the moisture content of remaining vegetation]. There was also a restoration area where natural resource managers, restoration experts, local nurseries and fire officials provided education on how to make “Firewise” choices for their home and landscape.


"Living in the Rogue Valley, being Firewise is not just a choice, but a way of life. Citizens must adopt fire safe practices around their home and neighborhoods to better protect our communities from the impacts of wildfire," said Alison Lerch, Ashland Fire and Rescue Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator and National Fire Adapted Communities Network Member.


The event was a great success and will be brought back to the National Fire Adapted Communities Network meeting in 2018 for others to share with their own communities. A number of PSAs, brochures and web material are currently being created to educate the community about Firewise USA™ and preparedness practices. Stay tuned for more to come!

 

Interested in learning about the Firewise USA program, and ways you and your community can reduce the risk of damage from a wildfire? Visit us at www.Firewise.org.

 

Photo: A demonstration at the Southern Oregon Firewise Expo.

The deaths of over 60 people, including children, attempting to evacuate wildfires currently burring in central Portugal, brings the challenge of wildfire into a very harsh perspective. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who passed away and all effected by these fires.

 

Over 60 separate fires across central Portugal began Saturday night, as persistent dry weather, high winds, and very high temperatures generated dry thunder storms with lightning strikes. The majority of reported deaths are related to forest fires around Pedrógão Grande in the Leiria district in central Portugal.

 

Video from BBC Weather explains the conditions currently faced in Portugal, with high temperatures on Monday at 43 Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit). Similar weather conditions are expected through Thursday.

 

The rising impact of hotter and dryer conditions effecting denser fuel loads with residents in harm’s way is hard to ignore. Wildfires are burning differently then we have come to expect and plan for with preparedness and operations. Recent fires of 2017 in Chile, Ireland, South Africa, here in the US in Florida and California, and now in Portugal all highlight the challenges faced by a changing climate and shifting “fire seasons”.

 

Areas that previously did not think of “wildfire”, like Southern England, are now recognizing the risks of a warming and drying climate against environments and vegetation that are becoming more fire prone.

We have become more aware of this climate challenge in the context of wildfire as we work with our international wildfire partners in Canada, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, and Australia for instance.

 

NFPA hosted a research workshop with these international partners at the annual NFPA conference in Boston in early June. Two of the common themes that came out of the workshop are that wildfire is, uniquely, an evolving and growing hazard amongst fire risk threats; and all of its contributing and impacting factors on upward trends.

 

The proceedings of this workshop will be released soon and the impacts of climate change on wildfire behavior and response will no doubt grow in influence going forward. The tragic events in Portugal over the weekend and today are a stark reminder of this evolving risk and the wildfire preparedness work still to come.  

 

Three days of national mourning have been declared in Portugal from Sunday.  As these fires continue to burn, we hope for the safety of residents and responses alike, and their recovery.  

 

Photo credit: Portugal fire - three days of mourning declared - The Portugal News  pulled 19 June 2017

An article about educating children and youth in Australia, Lessons Save Lives, shared some harrowing tales about how disaster training received by children saved lives.  A few examples of how children responded successfully to hazardous conditions after receiving good preparedness education drove home the importance of such training. Rather than frightening them, these lessons empowered them to be able to make good decisions during an emergency that saved their lives and the lives of others.  I was horrified when I read about the senseless loss of life simply because students and teachers had not received adequate disaster preparedness training.  The stories shared should motivate everyone to take steps today to provide students with knowledge and skills that can make a difference.

 

A story shared from the Japan Times, Preserving Okawa Elementary School is the right thing to do, shared a sad story about how a lack of training contributed to bad choices that cost lives during the March 11, 2011, Tsunami, but also detailed how  students in Kamaishi were able to save themselves when more than 1,000 other people living in their city perished.  These students had received training from a piloted disaster preparedness curriculum and made good decisions about what to do which ultimately resulted in their survival.

 

What children learn today can empower them to make better choices in the event of a natural disaster – choices that can ultimately save their lives.  We have all read stories about how children took action to save lives after they learned preparedness lessons in school.  These types of success stories exemplify the value of time invested in disaster preparedness training for children. There are resources for parents and teachers to use, and some simple tips shared with children and youth can make a difference in helping them survive dangerous situations.  NFPA’s TakeAction page offers virtual field trips with accompanying lesson plans about wildfire and wildfire preparedness, videos, and other resources to enable you to invest time wisely in helping children develop wildfire survival knowledge.  Don’t miss an opportunity today to be a hero in the life of a child.

 

Photo shared by Jeremy Keller from Ohio Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

The June issue of Fire BreakNFPA Wildfire Division's newsletter, is now available for viewing. Here's what you'll find in this month's issue:

  • A link to a segment about the U.S. wildfire problem featured on the Sunday evening news program, 60 Minutes
  • Information about how to keep your summer yard work projects from starting a brush, grass or forest fire
  • An in-depth look at the Warren Grove Fire that ignited 10 years ago in New Jersey and what the community learned post-fire
  • A webinar that explores the powerful force of embers

 

And much more! We want to continue to share all of this great information with you, so don't miss an issue and subscribe today. It's free! Just add your email address to our newsletter list.

 

With fires already burning in Arizona's Gila National Forest and in the Santa Fe area, warnings come of a major, pre-monsoon heat wave to occur in the southwestern US June 17-21.

 

With so many staff who travel at NFPA, we use an excellent risk management service from iJET that provides frequent travelers with situation reports and warnings about all kinds of threats around the globe. Today we received an extensive report on expected extreme weather conditions and potential wildfires. The warning said that record high temperatures are possible in some areas of California, Nevada, and/or Arizona and that triple-digit temperatures are expected from the Mexican border northward as far as Redding, California. There are already heat warnings out for southern Nevada and much of Arizona. Their analysis also said that conditions for wildfire growth are likely during this time. 

 

What should you do about it? Stay alert to local warnings to keep safe in extreme heat, and prepare in case your area experiences high fire danger days due to this heat wave. Use our tip sheet on what to do during "red flag days" to prepare your home and family should a wildfire start or spread. Having a plan and knowing what to do can keep you cool when conditions heat up.

               California Fire Science Consortium banner

Tomorrow, June 15, join the California Fire Science Consortium and presenter Steve Roark of the Tennessee Division of Forestry to learn about the extreme fire conditions during the November 2016 Gatlinburg, Tennessee wildifre and the tactics used by the TN Division of Forestry to protect structures before and after the fire moved through the community. What Gatlinburg is doing concerning future wildfire prevention will also be discussed.

 

Register here to join the one-hour webinar which begins at 11 am Pacific (2 pm Eastern) on June 15.

At some point, we've all been told to Watch our Words, or Choose Your Words Carefully; just ask my three kids how many times they've heard that from me during their lifetime, and they'll quickly tell you it's into the thousands.

 

Words are powerful - they have the potential to deliver both wanted and unwanted meanings. They can motivate, or completely shut someone down. During October and November 2016, the National Fire Protection Association’s Wildfire Division hosted a series of six Community Conversation Workshops with wildfire stakeholders in Georgetown, TX; Helotes, TX; Austin, TX; Yakima, WA; Deschutes County, OR and Ashland, OR, to collect feedback and input for use in the future development of our wildfire resources and education/outreach materials.

 

The workshop's facilitated interactive format provided opportunities for participants to share how wildfire related terminology and delivery styles can impact, resonate and motivate interest and participation in mitigation actions.

 

In the world of wildfire communication and outreach, the word mitigation is one of the most widely used and through the workshops we learned that doesn't always associate back to the intended meaning; and in many instances it triggers an association to litigation, or some other type of legal implication. Workshop participants shared simple clear word choices are better understood, and replacing the word Mitigation with Wildfire Risk Reduction, may actually move people to get involved and take the intended actions.

 

Forestry agencies, fire departments and others frequently offer to provide local residents with a wildfire assessment, evaluation, inspection or consultation - as a service that assists in identifying areas where residents can improve a home’s chances of survivability during a wildfire; much to the chagrin of those well-meaning individuals, we found use of those words often generates associations related to taxes or insurance, frequently accompanied by thoughts of a potential penalty, fine or fee. Substituting those words with options like:  property walk-through; fire-risk overview; or home/property visit, tends to resonate better with residents and are thought of as being more inviting, which increases the chances that the service will be embraced and welcomed.

 

As stakeholders develop future outreach language, we all need to be cognizant of our word choices and ensure they're relevant, simple and jargon-free, so they easily resonate with our target audiences which increases engagement and participation.

Following one of the worst storms to hit Cape Town, South Africa, in decades, gale-force winds fanned numerous wildfires across various towns to the west last week and into last weekend.

 

The wildfires burned over 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) along the “Garden Route” region of coastal South Africa, east of Cape Town. Spanning over 100 square kilometers (39 square miles), the wildfires from 7-11 June forced the evacuation of at least 10,000 residents in the hardest-hit town of Knysna and its surrounding suburbs. Thousands more were evacuated from neighboring towns in the region, including Plettenberg Bay, as various fires spread.

 

WATCH a Video of Knysna fire here.

 

Unfortunately, 7 fatalities are attributed to the wildfires, including the death of Plettenberg Bay volunteer firefighter Bradley Richards. More than 400 structures have been lost in Knysna alone.

 

Over 1,100 firefighters from across the Western Cape Province engaged the fires, including firefighting teams from the South African based Working on Fire organization, which is related to the Kishugu Non-Profit Company’s FireWiseSA program.

 

From their Facebook page, Kishugu shared remarks by their CEO, George Slabbert. “Our heartfelt thanks go out to all our brave firefighters, both on the ground and in the air, who heeded the call to assist in battling these wildfires. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families and friends who are affected by this tragedy, particularly those who have lost their lives."

 

By Monday 12 June, all major fires were brought under control and the Western Cape Province cabinet is set to meet in Knysna on Wednesday to assess the loss.

 

Financial and material support to effected residents in Knysna and other towns has been robust. A Facebook page supporting the Knysna fires has additional live information about the recovery efforts.

 

Our thoughts go out to those effected by these fires and our hope for their strong recovery.

 

Photo Credit: GALLERY: Aerial pics of devastating Cape fires | News24  

 

Video (Watch) link credit: WATCH: Knysna fires continue to rage | The Citizen  

A 600-acre wildfire the Hunter Fire is burning close to a Northwest Colorado community, Meeker.  The weather conditions are hot and dry with temperatures in the 90’s and have created high fire danger as reported by forecasters.  Meanwhile, four more lightning-caused fires are also burning in this area including the Temple Fire where a firefighter injury occurred and the Cross Fire.  The growing concern with the 600 + acre Hunter Fire is that it is near oil and gas producing facilities.  According to a news report, the facilities have been shut down at this time.  A red flag warning has also been issued for this region of Colorado.  The Colorado State Emergency Services Department provides a map of the perimeter of the wildfire for the public.

 

Be aware of fire weather conditions in your area and get involved locally with Firewise USA in your neighborhood and to find more information and resources that can help you better prepare for a wildfire check out NFPA’s Firewise website.

Photo submitted by Amy Daniels from Colorado City, Colorado of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day activity

From original blog post by Susan McKelvey susanmckelvey

 According to NFPA’s Fourth Needs Assessment Survey, nearly all (99%) of the U.S. population is covered by at least one prevention and educational program. However, many fire departments don’t have the resources to deliver a wide range of prevention and education programs to their communities.


Following is a list of prevention and education programs and the percentage of U.S. populations not covered by them:
•    Wildfire safety program based on a national model – 84%
•    Home fire sprinkler education – 74%
•    Car seat installation – 70%
•    Older adult fire safety program based on a national model – 6%
•    Home safety visits – 54%
•    Youth firesetter program – 48%
•    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation instruction – 42%
•    Free installation of home smoke alarms 37%
•    Free distribution of home smoke alarms – 33%
•    School fire safety education program based on a national model curriculum – 32%
•    Fire Prevention Week activities – 14%

 

This Wednesday, June 14, NFPA offers a free webinar, “The Current Status of Community Risk Reduction Activities in Local Fire Departments,” from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST. Learn from NFPA’s Hylton Haynes, senior research analyst, who will review community risk reduction findings from the latest U.S. Needs Assessment survey. He’ll be joined by Chelsea Rubadou, associate engineer of technical services, who will talk about tools and resources fire departments can use to strengthen their community risk reduction efforts. These include the new, upcoming NFPA 1300, Standard on Community Risk Assessment and Community Risk Reduction Plan Development; NFPA’s free public education programs and resources; and our recent data analytics efforts, which can help fire departments perform their roles more efficiently and effectively.


On Tuesday, June 13, at 3:00pm EDT, the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists is hosting a webinar presentation on how fire shaped Appalachian forests before the fire exclusion era.

 

Charles LaFon of Texas A&M will discuss the a recent fire history synthesis publication and current research on fire and forest composition. An open question and answer period will follow his remarks.

 

Pre-registration is not required and you can connect with the webinar at it’s start here.

 

Wildifre is not just a “western states” issue and we look forward to attending it to learn more about how wildfire and fire ecology influences all regions of the country.

 

Photo Credit: NWCG pc April Deming, NPS 2014_09_09-19_36_23_966-CDT

According to current NOAA fire weather mapping areas of the Southwest and Hawaii are at an above normal level of wildfire danger.  Some areas of Arizona, Northern California, and Nevada are under a red flag warning.  The National Interagency Coordination Center on June 9, already reported 94 new fires with 12 large uncontained fires.

 

A big concern is that the very wet spring has contributed to a prolific growth of grasses and brush because of the wet winter and spring.  The season is starting to get warm and the “fine fuels” in the form of grasses and small shrubs are starting to dry out.  This dry vegetation can easily ignite with small sparks from lawn mowers, motorcycle engines without spark arrestors etc. unlike larger thicker pieces of fuel like large branches.  Once this material ignites it can cause larger longer burning fuel sources to ignite.

 

Following some simple steps can help to protect your home from wildfire:

  •       Make sure the area around your home especially the first five feet is clear of debris.
  •       Make sure to put away flammable outdoor cushions, mats and other furniture inside or away you’re your home and deck when you are away.
  •       Clean pine needles and leaves from your gutters, decks, and roofs.
  •       Trim dead material from vegetation around your home and remove dead leaves and other materials from underneath plants and bushes.
  •       Make sure that your vents are maintained and or screened so that you do not provide an entry point for large embers.
  •       Fill cracks and potential ember entry points around eaves.

Check out NFPA’s Firewise USA™ website for information and downloadable resources with information about how you and your family and neighbors can work together to create safer communities.  Learn what simple steps you can take today to make your home and neighborhood safer places to live this year.

 

Photo submitted by Bob Kim from Dalton, Georgia for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

The end of the school year is the time when many families are on the “hunt” for a new home.  As I begin my journey to look for a home here in the North East, I realize how many things have to be inspected and considered.  But did you think about considering wildfire preparedness work that needs to be completed as you are looking at the home and deciding if it works for you and your family?  It is important to take into account such considerations as the commute to work, schools, roads, and proximity of services, but don’t forget maintenance needed to protect your home from wildfire. This may be a new consideration for some who have lived in cities and want to move out to a rural area.

 

Look carefully at the construction of the home, the surrounding topography and the landscape surrounding the home especially considering the first 5 feet around the home.  Think about what you will need to do to protect your investment from wildfire if you choose to buy the home.  My real estate agent and I discussed many of these details and others:

 

  • Roof construction; Was the roof constructed using a fire rated Class A system and is it well maintained to prevent ember intrusion?
  • Vents and other openings and cracks in the home construction; Are these areas adequately constructed to prevent ember intrusion?
  • Attachments such as fences, awnings, and trellises; If they are attached to the house, they are a part of the house.
  • The amount of trash on the property such as plywood, oily rags, and other debris
  • The proximity of the home to steep hillsides and the condition of the landscape maintenance or lack of maintenance on hillsides say below the deck or the home itself
  • The landscape surrounding the home
  • The cleanliness of gutters and decks

 

The Firewise tip sheet has additional helpful information for you as you are considering that important purchase.   If you are checking statistics such as the weather conditions and crime rate, make sure that you check to see if you are moving into an area with a higher fire risk.  It is important to be aware of your risk and realize in advance what changes you will need to make not only to protect one of the biggest investments of your life but also those you love.

 

Photo by Faith Berry

June is National Pet Preparedness Month a good opportunity for you to prepare your pets in the event of a wildfire

The month of June is National Pet Preparedness Month.  This is a good time to think about getting things prepared for your pet in case you have to evacuate because of an approaching wildfire.  When an evacuation notice comes, there is not a lot of time to get you and your loved ones including your pets packed up and ready to go.

 

NFPA’s TakeAction website has some great no cost information and resources for you to get your pets ready.  Getting a kit with necessities for your pet ready in a backpack or easy to grab bag will insure that you have everything they will need to be comfortable and well taken care of.  Make sure that you know where your pet’s crate is and have practiced getting them into the crate.

 

Items suggested to include in a Go Bag for your pet include:

  • Pen or pencil
  • Water
  • Pet food (Pack what your pet is used to eating not something new to prevent illness or an allergic reaction)
  • Blanket or toy
  • Bowls or plastic dishes
  • Collar, harness, leash
  • Litter and litter pan
  • Notepad for documenting special details and needs
  • One or two flash drives; (to store all of the information below which should also be written out in a notepad):                 1. List of important phone numbers, veterinarian, neighbor, pet-friendly hotels in the area, 2. Pet vaccination records, 3. Ownership records: adoption paperwork, registration, health insurance information, license information, 4. Medication information including copies of current prescriptions, 5. Special needs information; (emotional or behavioral needs, special diet needs, and allergies).

 

Check out NFPA’s take action site for information about getting your small pet or large animal ready in case there is an emergency. FEMA’s Ready.gov website also has resources to help you prepare your pet.  Being better prepared before an event will make it easier for you and your pet.

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