Posted at 3 p.m.
As part of National Preparedness Month, we need to remember our pets as part of the preparedness process. In this video, Whitney Kazragis from our emergency management office shares some tips about pet preparedness.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers some fantastic disaster tips along with a list of pet supplies for your emergency kit. In addition, the ASPCA will be hosting a Google+ Hangout for National Preparedness Month on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., bringing the biggest names in disaster response together — including FEMA and the USDA — to discuss how pet owners, cities and lawmakers can make sure pets stay safe during disasters. The ASPCA Google+ Hangout will be moderated by ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee, and it can be viewed at www.aspca.org/mobileapp.
Posted at 9:45 a.m.
Today is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. Kristen Auerbach with our Animal Shelter says pets are part of our families and we need to make sure our pets are prepared for emergencies. In this video, she offers some great tips to make sure our pets are ready in case of an emergency.
Prepare your pets for emergencies. In an emergency, you may need to stay in your home, or perhaps you’ll have to leave. If you evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. Pets most likely cannot survive on their own. Plan now where your pet will stay if you have to evacuate: a friends’ or relative’s home, a pet-friendly hotel or motel, or a kennel or veterinarian’s office. Talk to your vet or local humane society about an emergency plan for your pet.
Ask Fairfax Online Chat at 11 a.m.
Staff from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and our Office of Emergency Management will be available online at 11 a.m. to answer all of your questions to help you protect your pets when the unexpected happens. Submit a question now or join in the “Ask Fairfax” online chat about pet preparedness.
There are five easy steps pet owners can take to drastically increase their pet’s resiliency to disasters:
- Build a pet emergency kit.
- ID your pet with a collar and tag or consider microchipping.
- Practice evacuating in the car or determine where to shelter-in-place with your pet.
- Create a buddy system with a relative or friend to help each other’s pets in case one of you is away from home during an emergency.
- Download a preparedness app.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to protect your pet during a disaster.
Posted 5:35 p.m.
Neighbors: Please check in on elderly or other housebound people you may know to make sure they have enough heat and food.
Hypothermia Prevention: If you see an unsheltered person who may be at risk of hypothermia, call the police non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711. Fairfax County’s emergency homeless shelters have additional capacity during winter months to take in people overnight who are at risk of hypothermia. Emergency personnel will determine which shelter option is best in the situation. Learn more about our emergency shelters and hypothermia program.
Pets: Don’t forget your pets — bring pets/companion animals inside; move other animals to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Beware of Ice: With the cold temperatures, snow that has melted will refreeze and create hazardous icy conditions, including black ice. Drive cautiously and be careful walking outside.
Posted 4:45 p.m.
Because the freezing temperatures predicted over the next few days may be deadly to pets, the Animal Shelter is offering temporary, emergency housing for cats, dogs and small companion animals. If you or someone you know needs to utilize this service, contact the shelter at 703-830-1100, extension 2, or call the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
For all pet owners, don’t forget your pets — bring pets/companion animals inside; move other animals to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water. Read some more tips to prepare your pets.
Posted 10:18 a.m.
Baby, it’s going to be cold outside!
Our area is under a wind chill advisory from the National Weather Service beginning at 6 p.m. Monday until 6 p.m. Tuesday. The temperature and winds will make it feel like it’s 5 to 15 degrees below zero. Here’s what you can do to beat the freeze:
- If you see someone unsheltered in this extreme cold weather, call 703-691-2131, TTY 711. Learn more about our emergency shelters and hypothermia program.
- Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. If you must be outside, either for work or leisure, take precautions such as dressing in layers. Watch this short video for tips, especially for advice on when to go to a hospital:
- Do NOT leave pets outside!
- Because the freezing temperatures may be deadly to pets, our animal shelter is offering temporary emergency housing for cats, dogs, and small companion animals. If you or someone you know needs to utilize this service, contact the shelter at 703-324-0208, TTY 711, or e-mail FCPDPetResources@fairfaxcounty.gov.
- We have more safety tips for pets in cold weather.
- Today will be your last chance to protect your pipes from freezing or bursting. Here are more details about what to do to protect your pipes.
- Fill up your car gas tanks – there’s less of a chance of gas lines freezing (and it takes longer idling to get the cars warm before traveling).
- If you plan to use alternative heating sources such as fireplaces or portable heaters, please take a quick minute to review these safety tips for the safety of your family. Put a freeze on winter fires:
Posted at 2:45 p.m.
Pets are part of our families. So be sure to include items in your family emergency kit that your pet will need should disaster strike.
Learn more at www.Ready.gov/animals.
Posted at 11 a.m.
Here’s a unique instructional video from FEMA with information for pet owners and suggestions for proactive pet emergency preparedness.
Posted at 1 p.m.
Leaving a child or pet in an unattended vehicle is preventable. Unfortunately though, it does happen. The Kids and Cars organization reports that since 1998, an average of 38 children die every year from vehicular heat stroke.
In the video below, Lucy Caldwell of our Police Department offers some tips parents and caregivers can use to ensure that our most precious cargo — our children — are never left unattended in a vehicle again.
Posted at 3:55 p.m.
We’re focusing this week on safety for children and pets in the summer heat — specifically on ensuring that they aren’t left unattended in vehicles.
Today, Andy Wehrlen of our Police Department offers guidance on what residents can do. He notes that we’re all busy, but with a little thought and pre-planning, our most precious cargo — our children — will be safe.
Wehrlen adds, “As you’d never leave your children alone in a vehicle, never leave pets in a parked car.”
Take a few minutes today and take these action steps. Commit to “look before you lock” the doors and make sure no child or pet is left unattended in a vehicle.
Posted at 2:15 p.m.
As temperatures rise this summer, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter reminds residents to keep pets safe in the heat, whether at home, at the beach or traveling.
Here’s some additional tips:
- Never leave pets in a parked car. On a warm day, temperatures can rapidly rise to dangerous levels. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact police.
- Shade and water are vital to pets. Pet owners must provide adequate shelter protecting animals from the adverse effects of heat. A dog house in the backyard with no access to shade does not protect animals from sun.
- Limit exercise on hot days. Take care to adjust intensity and duration of exercise. Watch for shortness of breath and remember that asphalt gets very hot and can burn paws; walk your dog on the grass if possible.
- Recognize the symptoms of heatstroke. If your pet shows signs such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, fever, dizziness, restlessness, excessive thirst and profuse salivation, contact your veterinarian immediately. Take steps to reduce the animal’s body temperature; apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest, provide water and ice cubes for hydration, and move the animal into the shade or air-conditioning.
While the temperature today is not a scorcher, it’s still hot enough if you don’t remember to look after your pets. After all, they too are part of your family.
Yesterday we provided information on heat, kids and unattended cars. Join us the remainder of the week as we’ll continue to focus on heat, children and pets.