June 19, 2010 a fire started south of the I-40 in Flagstaff Az. Within hours a small 300 acre fire forced the mandatory evacuation of guests of the Little America Hotel, the Coconino Humane Association and four communities’ residents, pets and other animals. Within 1 day, a second fire broke out moving from 15 acres to 50 within 2 hours, to 500 within 4 hours to 5,000 within a day. The speed of this fire forced three more communities’ residents, with pets and other animals, to also evacuate. The Coconino Humane Associations’ newly sheltered rescue animals housed now at Second Chance for Animals, along with their animals (and the evacuated pets of local residents housed there) moved to Fort Tuthill.
Over 3,000 calls were taken by CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team) volunteers within 72 hours by residents looking for information and help. Many residents refused to leave their animals behind. Second Chance continued to help Coconino Humane and over 50 evacuated animals of displaced residents for days not knowing if they would have a facility to return to.
We welcome all levels of skills from those willing to volunteer their time, resources and support administrative, medical, behavior, rescue, even those who simply determine to learn how they can become effective emergency responders (of all skills and knowledge, traditional, holistic, field, adminsitrative, or any blend)
Basic first aid skills for animals, reorganization, reduction of health and safety hazards, personal or animal based business contingency planning are some of the activities offered through this group. We prepare for the day that there is a formal animal in disaster response attached to the CERT typing matrix which will allow for inter community support to benefit the animals affected during emergencies and the people/agencies that support them.
We encounter emergencies ever day and never realize how much the simple steps which could be take to reduce emotional, physical, mental (and even spiritual) tolls on the two and four legged affected.
From catastrophic “end of the community” level emergencies or disasters to simply having your own animal injured or ill from the chemicals in his environment, an accident while transporting, a catastrophic illness of the owner to loss of job or home and so much more will be activities members of this group commit to providing, participating and continuing our education, response skills development, community outreach networking, relationship, team and resource building,
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) REQUIRES businesses to have emergency action plans in place which are routinely tested and updated, including for animal based businesses profit or non-profit, volunteer or paid staff safety for specifically local identified hazards and evacuation actions.
EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) guarantees our community right to know what chemicals can affect us from our neighbors from spills, fires in our neighborhoods and our facilitates (or homes).
FEMA(Federal Emergency Response Agency) under Homeland security is in the process of preparing to release two new animals in disaster modules for training response planning activities for animals affected by disasters.
Our own ability to react safely, effectively and without further harm, occurs when we are willing to look squarely at our weaknesses to prepare out strengths to change from victims to victors over the unexpected, when help cant wait will grow and evolve with the classes, activities, drills responses and other meetups which will occur through this group.
>If you want to learn more for yourself,
>If you ever wanted to become a part of a pet therapy team to learn mental health support skills while helping local groups (hospice, hospitals, nursing homes, at risk children…) your local groups so you are prepared to help during the chaotic times and devastation of disaster victims,
>For your animal ministry/church disaster preparedness response,
>For your rescue or shelter, needs and options,
>For your animal based businesses – retail, medical, pet sitting/walking, boarding, grooming, training…
This will be a group which will prepare, whether individual or community to make a difference for those from the animal world who frequently get left behind or without resources. Everything from individual preparation/response to community wide whether city, county or our Arizona State MRC Animals in disaster Team through the State Health Department!