June 26, 2012 12:39
Photos courtesy of Mitzy Tait-Zeller, Swift Current Saskatchewan
June 26, 2012 12:18
Tornado situations will often produce anxiety, fear and a need to escape for some pets. Debris displaced by high winds, can cause injury to animals left outdoors. Take preparedness
measures to protect and care for your pet during tornadoes.
Preparing Pets for Tornadoes
• Create an emergency supply kit for your pet, should you need to evacuate your home due to heavy destruction.
□□A 3-5 day supply of food and water for your pet, bowls and a non-electric can opener.
□□Sanitation items, such as a litter box or puppy pads, and disposal equipment.
□□Crates to provide the animal with a secure and safe hiding spot; make sure that the crate is clearly labeled.
□□Leash and collar should you need to transport your pet, carrier for cats.
□□Any medications for pets and all medical records for them as well.
□□All animals should have some sort of identification
(collar with tag, microchip).
□□Take a photo of your pet and keep it with the
• Prepare to seek shelter.
□□Practice getting the entire family, including pets, to the tornado safe area during calm weather.
□□Train your dog to go to the area on command or to come to you on command regardless of distractions.
□□Learn how to quickly and safely secure your cat.
□□Know the hiding places of your pet and how to quickly and safely gather your pet.
During a Tornado
• Pet safety.
□□Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm.
□□NEVER leave pets tied up outside.
□□If they are frightened, reassure them and remain calm.
□□Pets should be provided the same cover as humans during severe weather.
• Put all pets in cages or carriers and in the safe room when a tornado warning is issued.
□□Animals can sense bad weather and will look for a place to hide if they sense it is near.
• NEVER leave your pet chained outside or enclosed in a manner in which they cannot escape danger.
After a Tornado
• Pet behavior.
□□Be aware that a pet’s behavior may change before, during and after a disaster.
□□In the first few hours after the storm, leash your pets when they go outside until they readjust to the situation.
□□Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost.
• Pet safety.
□□Keep your pet away from storm damaged areas.
□□Power lines could be down and dangerous objects will be littered about everywhere.
• Lost pets.
□□If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office.
□□Bring along a picture of your pet, if possible.
Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture MOU-2010-HSEMD-004. June 2010.
June 26, 2012 12:00
June 26, 2012 Dundurn Saskatchewan 12:00
Livestock can become injured, displaced or die during tornado situations. Protecting your livestock from tornados involves the following measures.
Before a Severe Storm
• Maintain an inventory.
□□Keep a current list of all animals on your farm; include their location and any records of ownership.
• Have identification for all animals.
□□Make sure animals have some form of permanent
identification (e.g., ear tags, tattoos).
• Have an emergency plan.
□□Tornadoes can cause structural damage and
□□Have well maintained backup generators or alternate power sources for livestock production operations.
□□In the event of animal escape, have handling equipment (e.g., halters, nose leads) and safety and emergency items for your vehicles and trailers.
• Ensure a safe environment.
□□Assess the stability and safety of barns and
□□Remove loose objects from fields or livestock areas that may become potential flying debris.
During a Severe Storm
• Be aware animal behavior may change before, during and even after a disaster.
• Livestock sense tornadoes in advance.
□□If your family or house is at risk, ignore livestock.
□□If your personal security isn’t threatened, you may only have time to open routes of escape for your livestock.
• Livestock safety.
□□If possible, bring animals into a barn or shelter well in advance of a storm.
□□Make sure they have plenty of food and water.
□□Keep them away from areas with windows.
□□NEVER leave animals tied up or restrained outside.
After a Severe Storm
• Assess your animals and building structures.
□□Survey damage to your barns and other structures;
assess the stability and safety.
□□Examine your animals closely; contact your veterinarian if you observe injuries.
• Cleanup safely.
□□Gather and dispose of trash, limbs, wire, and damaged equipment that could harm livestock.
• Provide non-contaminated feed or water.
□□Provide clean, uncontaminated water.
□□Do not use any feed or forage that may have been contaminated by chemical or pesticides.
• Animal disposal.
□□Record any animal deaths.
□□Dispose of dead carcasses.
□□Check with your state or local authorities for proper disposal methods for animal carcasses.
Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture MOU-2010-HSEMD-004. June 2010.
June 16, 2012 08:21
On this Page
General Safety Precautions
Inspecting the Damage
Safety During Clean Up
Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado, or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup, and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Other common causes of injury included falling objects and heavy, rolling objects. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines, or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution, or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.
Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Clean out all open wounds and cuts with soap and clean water. Apply an antibiotic ointment. Contact a doctor to find out whether more treatment is needed (such as a tetanus shot). If a wound gets red, swells, or drains, seek immediate medical attention. Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.
General Safety Precautions
Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:
Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood, or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, or camper—or even outside near an open window, door, or vent. Carbon monoxide (CO)--an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it--from these sources can build up in your home, garage, or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.
Cooperate fully with public safety officials.
Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management, and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts, and you could endanger yourself.
Inspecting the Damage
After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical, or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas, and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution, or explosions.
If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.
If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.
If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows, and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments, or State Fire Marshal's office, and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.
Safety During Clean Up
Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves, and gloves.
Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids, and other potentially hazardous materials.
After a tornado, children may be afraid the storm will come back again and they will be injured or left alone. Children may even interpret disasters as punishment for real or imagined misdeeds. Explain that a tornado is a natural event.
Children will be less likely to experience prolonged fear or anxiety if they know what to expect after a tornado. Here are some suggestions:
Talk about your own experiences with severe storms, or read aloud a book about tornadoes.
Encourage your child to express feelings of fear. Listen carefully and show understanding.
Offer reassurance. Tell your child that the situation is not permanent, and provide physical reassurance through time spent together and displays of affection.
Include your child in clean-up activities. It is comforting to children to watch the household begin to return to normal and to have a job to do.
NOTE: Symptoms of anxiety may not appear for weeks or even months after a tornado; they can affect people of any age. If anxiety disrupts daily activities for any member of your family, seek professional assistance through a school counselor, community religious organization, your physician, or a licensed professional. Counselors are listed under Mental Health Services in the yellow pages of your telephone directory.
June 16, 2012 08:12
Some tornadoes strike rapidly, without time for a tornado warning, and sometimes without a thunderstorm in the vicinity. When you are watching for rapidly emerging tornadoes, it is important to know that you cannot depend on seeing a funnel: clouds or rain may block your view. The following weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:
A dark or green-colored sky.
A large, dark, low-lying cloud.
A loud roar that sounds like a freight train.
If you notice any of these weather conditions, take cover immediately, and keep tuned to local radio and TV stations or to a NOAA weather radio.
NOAA Weather Radios
NOAA weather radios are the best way to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. By using a NOAA weather radio, you can receive continuous updates on all the weather conditions in your area. The range of these radios depends on where you live, but the average range is 40 miles. The radios are sold in many stores. The National Weather Service recommends buying a radio with a battery backup (in case the power goes off) and a tone-alert feature that automatically sounds when a weather watch or warning is issued.
Sighting a Funnel Cloud
If you see a funnel cloud nearby, take shelter immediately (see the following section for instructions on shelter). However, if you spot a tornado that is far away, help alert others to the hazard by reporting it to the newsroom of a local radio or TV station before taking shelter as described later. Use common sense and exercise caution: if you believe that you might be in danger, seek shelter immediately.
Your family could be anywhere when a tornado strikes--at home, at work, at school, or in the car. Discuss with your family where the best tornado shelters are and how family members can protect themselves from flying and falling debris.
The key to surviving a tornado and reducing the risk of injury lies in planning, preparing, and practicing what you and your family will do if a tornado strikes. Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries during a tornado. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others.
Pick a place in the home where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. One basic rule is AVOID WINDOWS. An exploding window can injure or kill.
The safest place in the home is the interior part of a basement. If there is no basement, go to an inside room, without windows, on the lowest floor. This could be a center hallway, bathroom, or closet.
For added protection, get under something sturdy such as a heavy table or workbench. If possible, cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag, or mattress, and protect your head with anything available--even your hands. Avoid taking shelter where there are heavy objects, such as pianos or refrigerators, on the area of floor that is directly above you. They could fall though the floor if the tornado strikes your house.
In a Mobile Home
DO NOT STAY IN A MOBILE HOME DURING A TORNADO. Mobile homes can turn over during strong winds. Even mobile homes with a tie-down system cannot withstand the force of tornado winds.
Plan ahead. If you live in a mobile home, go to a nearby building, preferably one with a basement. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert and shield your head with your hands.
If you live in a tornado-prone area, encourage your mobile home community to build a tornado shelter.
On the Road
The least desirable place to be during a tornado is in a motor vehicle. Cars, buses, and trucks are easily tossed by tornado winds.
DO NOT TRY TO OUTRUN A TORNADO IN YOUR CAR. If you see a tornado, stop your vehicle and get out. Do not get under your vehicle. Follow the directions for seeking shelter outdoors (see next section).
If you are caught outside during a tornado and there is no adequate shelter immediately available--
Avoid areas with many trees.
Lie down flat in a gully, ditch, or low spot on the ground.
Protect your head with an object or with your arms.
A long-span building, such as a shopping mall, theater, or gymnasium, is especially dangerous because the roof structure is usually supported solely by the outside walls. Most such buildings hit by tornados cannot withstand the enormous pressure. They simply collapse.
If you are in a long-span building during a tornado, stay away from windows. Get to the lowest level of the building--the basement if possible--and away from the windows.
If there is no time to get to a tornado shelter or to a lower level, try to get under a door frame or get up against something that will support or deflect falling debris. For instance, in a department store, get up against heavy shelving or counters. In a theater, get under the seats. Remember to protect your head.
Office Buildings, Schools, Hospitals, Churches, and Other Public Buildings
Extra care is required in offices, schools, hospitals, or any building where a large group of people is concentrated in a small area. The exterior walls of such buildings often have large windows.
If you are in any of these buildings--
Move away from windows and glass doorways.
Go to the innermost part of the building on the lowest possible floor.
Do not use elevators because the power may fail, leaving you trapped.
Protect your head and make yourself as small a target as possible by crouching down.
Shelter for People with Special Needs
Advance planning is especially important if you require assistance to reach shelter from an approaching storm (see specific instructions in the next section).
If you are in a wheelchair, get away from windows and go to an interior room of the house. If possible, seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk. Do cover your head with anything available, even your hands.
If you are unable to move from a bed or a chair and assistance is not available, protect yourself from falling objects by covering up with blankets and pillows.
If you are outside and a tornado is approaching, get into a ditch or gully. If possible, lie flat and cover your head with your arms.
June 16, 2012 07:59
Stay Tuned for Storm Watches and Warnings
When there are thunderstorms in your area, turn on your radio or TV to get the latest emergency information from local authorities. Listen for announcements of a tornado watch or tornado warning.
Local Warning System
Photo of tornado warning system.Learn about the tornado warning system of your county or locality. Most tornado-prone areas have a siren system. Know how to distinguish between the siren's warnings for a tornado watch and a tornado warning.
A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions favor the formation of tornadoes, for example, during a severe thunderstorm.
During a tornado watch,
Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations or a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for further weather information.
Watch the weather and be prepared to take shelter immediately if conditions worsen.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado funnel is sighted or indicated by weather radar.
You should take shelter immediately.
Because tornadoes often accompany thunderstorms, pay close attention to changing weather conditions when there is a severe thunderstorm watch or warning.
A severe thunderstorm watch means severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.
A severe thunderstorm warning means severe thunderstorms are occurring in your area.
Keep fresh batteries and a battery-powered radio or TV on hand. Electrical power is often interrupted during thunderstorms--just when information about weather warnings is most needed.
Important Measures To Take
Photo of floor plan.Take a few minutes with your family to develop a tornado emergency plan. Sketch a floor plan of where you live, or walk through each room and discuss where and how to seek shelter.
Show a second way to exit from each room or area. If you need special equipment, such as a rope ladder, mark where it is located.
Make sure everyone understands the siren warning system, if there's such a system in your area.
Mark where your first-aid kit and fire extinguishers are located.
Mark where the utility switches or valves are located so they can be turned off--if time permits--in an emergency.
Teach your family how to administer basic first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.
Learn the emergency dismissal policy for your child's school.
Make sure your children know--
What a tornado is
What tornado watches and warnings are
What county or parish they live in (warnings are issued by county or parish)
How to take shelter, whether at home or at school.
Extra Measures for People with Special Needs
Write down your specific needs, limitations, capabilities, and medications. Keep this list near you always--perhaps in your purse or wallet.
Find someone nearby (a spouse, roommate, friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker) who will agree to assist you in case of an emergency. Give him or her a copy of your list. You may also want to provide a spare key to your home, or directions to find a key.
Keep aware of weather conditions through whatever means are accessible to you. Some options are closed captioning or scrolled warnings on TV, radio bulletins, or call-in weather information lines.
Practicing Your Emergency Plan
Conduct drills and ask questions to make sure your family remembers information on tornado safety, particularly how to recognize hazardous weather conditions and how to take shelter.
Writing Down Important Information
A blank form is provided for you to write down important names and numbers.
Make a list of important information. Include these on your list:
Important telephone numbers, such as emergency (police and fire), paramedics, and medical centers.
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your insurance agents, including policy types and numbers.
Telephone numbers of the electric, gas, and water companies.
Names and telephone numbers of neighbors.
Name and telephone number of your landlord or property manager.
Important medical information (for example, allergies, regular medications, and brief medical history).
Year, model, license, and identification numbers of your vehicles (automobiles, boats, and RVs).
Bank's or credit union's telephone number, and your account numbers.
Radio and television broadcast stations to tune to for emergency broadcast information.
Storing Important Documents
Store the following documents in a fire- and water-proof safe:
Ownership certificates (autos, boats, etc.)
Social security cards
List of contents of household; include serial numbers, if applicable
Photographs or videotape of contents of every room
Photographs of items of high values, such as jewelry, paintings, collection items
First Aid Supplies
First Aid Kit
Store your first aid supplies in a tool box or fishing tackle box so they will be easy to carry and be protected from water. Inspect your kit regularly and keep it freshly stocked.
Drugs and Medications
Soap and clean water to disinfect wounds
Individually wrapped alcohol swabs
Aspirin and non-aspirin tablets
Prescriptions and any long-term medications (keep these current)
NOTE: Important medical information and most prescriptions can be stored in the refrigerator, which provides excellent protection from fires.
Clean sheets torn into strips
Adhesive tape roll
Other First Aid Supplies
First aid book
Needle and thread
Instant cold packs for sprains
Reducing Household Hazards
Home Inspection Checklist
The following suggestions will reduce the risk for injury during or after a tornado. No amount of preparation will eliminate every risk.
Inspect your home for possible hazards, including the following:
Are walls securely bolted to the foundation?
Are wall studs attached to the roof rafters with metal hurricane clips, not nails?
Do you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves?
Are chairs or beds near windows, mirrors, or large pictures?
Are heavy items stored on shelves more than 30" high?
Are there large, unsecured items that might topple over or fall?
Are poisons, solvents, or toxic materials stored safely ?
Securing Your Home's Structure
No home is completely safe in a tornado. However, attention to construction details can reduce damage and provide better protection for you and your family if a tornado should strike your house. If an inspection using the "Home Inspection Checklist" reveals a possible hazard in the way your home is constructed, contact your local city or county building inspectors for more information about structural safety. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do any needed work for you.
Walls and Roof Rafters
Strengthen the areas of connection between the wall studs and roof rafters with hurricane clips as shown in the above graphic.
Shutting Off Utilities
After a tornado, DO NOT USE matches, lighters, or appliances, or operate light switches until you are sure there are no gas leaks. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite gas and cause an explosion.
If you smell the odor of gas or if you notice a large consumption of gas being registered on the gas meter, shut off the gas immediately. First, find the main shut-off valve located on a pipe next to the gas meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the valve to the "off" position.
After a major disaster, shut off the electricity. Sparks from electrical switches could ignite leaking gas and cause an explosion.
Water may be turned off at either of two locations:
At the main meter, which controls the water flow to the entire property.
At the water main leading into the home. If you may need an emergency source of fresh water, it is better to shut off your water here, because it will conserve the water in your water heater.
Attach a valve wrench to the water line. (This tool can be purchased at most hardware stores.)
Label the water mains for quick identification.
Arranging and Securing Household Items
Arrange furniture so that chairs and beds are away from windows, mirrors, and picture frames.
Place heavy or large items on lower shelves.
Secure your large appliances, especially your water heater, with flexible cable, braided wire, or metal strapping.
Identify top-heavy, free-standing furniture, such as bookcases and china cabinets, that could topple over.
Secure your furniture by using one of two methods.
"L" brackets, corner brackets, or aluminum molding, to attach tall or top-heavy furniture to the wall.
Eyebolts, to secure items located a short distance from the wall.
Install sliding bolts or childproof latches on all cabinet doors.
Store all hazardous materials such as poisons and solvents--
in a sturdy, latched or locked cabinet
in a well-ventilated area
away from emergency food or water supplies
June 13, 2012 12:44
Gillian hails from the Aspen Parklands region of Saskatchewan, Canada and has been in love with horses since her first pony ride at the local fair.
"Its not always about riding"- Gillian's personal motto, the relationship is the priority at work here. "I may not be an expert in any of the disciplines of horsemanship, but I treasure the relationship I have with my mare, and her ability to help me develop trust and respect within myself."
Gillian brings a strong background in sales and public relations to the HOT Sales Force.
Gillian enjoys getting out and meeting like-minded horsey folks and looks forward to assisting Horse Owner Today in becoming the Go-To site for all things horsey.
June 10, 2012 18:56
All of my life I have had a deep and undeterred love for horses, since my earliest recollections as a child, I was enamored with horses. Even though my parents love of horses was not obsessive to the extent that my own was, they realized the great "need" within me and allowed me to have a horse when we moved to the farm when I was 10.
I was so crazy about horses that I put my creative and artistic talents to use by perfecting my drawings of horses and any other talent I found within myself and directed it horse-ward. If I learned a new creative skill such as cross stitch or crocheting I honed that skill to make something to do with horses. Not only did I love horses but I loved to be creative with my hands. During my junior and high school years I discovered that I liked to write creatively as well as read. I read any and every horse book I could get my hands on. I was a creative writer and wrote poems and short stories mostly for my own enjoyment. For family and friends, I wrote lengthy letters when I was away from home. I just enjoyed putting pen to paper. Over the years, I collected my own writings within a folder, for future reference.
My horse experience evolved over the years, I bought, sold, trained, traded and rode horses mostly for the sheer enjoyment of being with horses. The one thing I always did through all the years of horse ownership was love my horses and share my love with family, friends and many people that I met along the way. Somewhere I misplaced or lost my ability to write but I perfected my adventurous stories and told them with flair and flourish. I discovered many things about myself and horses along the way and as I matured I realized I had something to share.
At one point in my life I had plans to create a drawing and the title of that drawing was to be "Hoof Prints on My Heart". Life happened and I never got to draw that piece of art but in the back of my mind, I thought 'I might write a book one day.' Then, that day just happened.
A series of devastating life events motivated me to write "Hoof Prints on My Heart". I felt compelled to tell my story, I knew that I had something important to share with other horse owners and for those that have always loved horses but maybe never even owned one. Perhaps some horse owners have already discovered what I learned about horses but I also felt that the way I discovered this "magic" about horses was different than what many others may have experienced. It deserved telling.
My future writing plans may very well include a second, follow up book to "Hoof Prints on My Heart" depending on how well received my first book is. I would like to build up a fan base first. I will be planning to attend a local trade show and a few book signings locally and at Paradise Stable Horse Rescue near Saskatoon. I am donating a portion of my book sales to Paradise Stable Horse Rescue to assist in the excellent work they do for neglected and mistreated horses in Saskatchewan.
As for Zelta's Canadians, we are breeding only 2 top quality Canadian mares to our foundation bred Canadian stallion, Davidson Josua Ram this year. I have several horses to train under saddle this year and a few more horses than I can actually ride comfortably, so our showing plans are on hold for another year. I will be taking my children and a few riding students to ride in our local Canada Day parade this year as well as several trail rides throughout the summer months.
by Mitzy Tait-Zeller for www.HorseOwnerToday.com ,
Zelta's Canadians http://www.horseownertoday.com/vendor.aspx?vid=66
Hoof Prints on My Heart http://www.facebook.com/MitzysManeTales