It’s nearly the peak of hurricane season. But we’re lucky we live way up here in Ohio because we are never affected by hurricanes this far north.
If you lived in Ohio two years ago, you probably remember Hurricane Ike. It was just a windstorm by the time it reached us – but what a windstorm. Homes were damaged, trees were uprooted and power lines came down. Schools and businesses closed as we waited for the power to be restored to everyone. In the mean time, many people lost the contents of their refrigerators when the power went out.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter in Columbus and offered free meals and shelter to anyone in need. Since shelters don’t allow pets, besides service animals, I relied on my disaster supply kit. I had food, water, treats, toys, batteries, flashlights and a blanket stored in my kit in case of an emergency. I learned how to make my disaster supply kit at Columbus.redcross.org. This reminds me – it’s a good time to go through my kit and see what needs to be replenished. It’s hurricane season you know.
I took my pet parents to the CHA Picnic with the Pups on Saturday. We like to get outdoors and participate in dog-friendly events whenever we can. Even though it was very hot and humid outside, a lot of dogs came out to support a great cause – pets.
Our first stop was the American Red Cross booth. Their dedicated volunteers braved the heat to tell pet parents about American Red Cross pet first aid classes. They even had a plush dog to use for CPR demonstrations. (There was something very strange about that dog and it smelled funny.) And they had pet first aid kits for sale for pet parents who want to be prepared for emergencies.
We saw dogs in all shapes and sizes. A nice dog named Charity came to the American Red Cross booth to check it out. She was looking for her forever home. I hope she finds it soon. There was also a small herd of Yorkies walking around, as well as some big dogs like Rotties and Danes.
While I was dog-watching, my pet parents looked at the vendor booths, entered the raffle and made bids in the silent auction. We were all careful to stay hydrated in the heat and had a great time. Dog-friendly events are a great way to get outdoors and spend some quality time your pet parents.
Every time my pet parents leave the house without me, I’m afraid they’ll never come back. More than anything I want to go too. I use all my tricks to try to convince them to take me with them. But my pet parents know that I’ll be safer and happier at home. I’m not allowed to go inside many places and it’s too dangerous for me to stay in the car … even for a few minutes. According to the ASPCA, it only takes ten minutes on an 85-degree day for the inside of your car to reach 102 degrees, even if the windows are left open a couple of inches. And in 30 minutes, the car interior can reach 120 degrees. When my pet parents leave without me, I sit by the window and wait for them to come home … cool and happy and safe.
When there is a house fire in Franklin County, it is common to see an American Red Cross van arrive at the scene. American Red Cross volunteers are trained to help people recover from disasters such as home fires and begin to put their lives together again.
People who have lost their belongings in a disaster frequently receive “comfort kits” from the Red Cross containing necessities such as combs, toothbrushes and shampoo. Comfort kits come with a variety of items depending on the needs of the recipient. There are comfort kits for adults and children – and dogs and cats! What a great idea!
Dog and cat comfort kits may contain food, treats, collars, leashes and food dishes. These things can mean a lot to a pet that has just lost everything. Thanks to the American Red Cross for the help they give to disaster victims – and their pets. Find out how you can get involved today!
Some Red Cross volunteers wake up in the middle of the night, grab their go-bag, and rush out to assist the victims of a house fire.
Some Red Cross volunteers are teachers. They show people how to save a life in an emergency. They help members of the community prepare for disasters. And they teach children how to escape from a burning house.
Some Red Cross volunteers drive elderly and disabled people to their doctor appointments so they can get the medical attention they need.
Some volunteers make phone calls, give speeches, file, type, photograph, write, organize, schedule, and report.
Red Cross volunteers are the BEST volunteers. So during National Volunteer Week, (April 18 – 24) give a Red Cross volunteer a little “Yip” to say “Thanks for everything you do!”
You know your pet better than anyone. If your pet is exhibiting unusual symptoms such as itching, sneezing, coughing or watering eyes, seasonal allergies may be to blame. Pet parents who are familiar with their pet’s normal behavior are quick to notice when an unusual symptom presents itself. A veterinarian can diagnose seasonal allergies and offer treatments.
Remember your pet’s medications when you make a pet disaster kit. A pet first aid kit is important as well. Keep your pet’s vet records, medications and other emergency items in a disaster kit in case you and your pet have to evacuate your home. If you are temporarily separated from your pet, the kit will have everything your pet’s caretaker will need to provide excellent care for your pet until you are reunited.
Volunteer Instructor Irene Yen patches up our doggie mannequin
My pet parent is Red Cross Ready now! After taking the American Red Cross Pet First Aid class, my pet parent is better informed about pet emergencies. In class they learned about what pet parents can do in the event of an emergency until they can get to a veterinarian. They practiced bandaging an animal’s injured leg as well as rescue breathing and CPR.
We hope we never have to use any of these new first aid skills. But it’s better to learn about them now than to wish we had when it’s too late. If you are interested in taking a pet first aid class, there will be another one in May.
Be Red Cross Ready. Get A Kit. Make A Plan. Be Informed.
Cricket's "signature" paw print
I’m lucky that I live within a few miles of my veterinarian’s office. It’s good to know that help is close by if I am sick or injured. But what if there is an emergency and help is not right around the corner? Would you know what to do?
Sign up for the American Red Cross Pet First Aid Class on Saturday, March 13th. The class will be held at the Capital Area Humane Society from 1 – 4:30 p.m. Participants will receive a manual and a DVD that demonstrates how to perform many of the first aid steps.
It’s important for pet parents to include their pets when preparing for emergencies. Take this class and Be Red Cross Ready.
Michaelle Fleamvil carries supplies distributed by the American Red Cross at Croix Desprez. She is helped by Red Cross worker Matt Marek. January 20, 2010. Photo: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross
Like many of you, I was moved to make a donation to the American Red Cross when I saw the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti last month. Now when I see the stories about the recovery on the evening news, I can’t help wondering how the Red Cross spent my donation. So I did some research and this is what I found out.
The American Red Cross:
- Is producing more than 1 million liters of water per day, enough for 300,000 people
- Operates water distribution points in 100 settlements
- Has built sanitation facilities in 8 settlements
- Distributed food and relief items (blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, buckets, water containers, laundry detergent and mosquito nets) to nearly 170,000 people so far
More than 76 flights carrying Red Cross aid from around the world have arrived in the Dominican Republic or Haiti. I feel like I made a difference knowing that the American Red Cross turned my donation into a blanket, vaccination or a meal for someone in need. I’m glad I gave my allowance to the Red Cross – instead of spending it on another chew toy.
Visit our online newsroom for the latest on relief efforts.
Image credit: Zazzle.com
1. slightly-used bone tied with a red ribbon
2. liver treats
3. tips on proper stretching techniques
4. the missing socks
5. extra walks for a week
6. replacement for the umbrella I destroyed
7. chew toy
8. one sleep-in Saturday
9. I.D. tags – in case they get lost
10. gift certificate for an American Red Cross pet first aid class