California Potbellied Pig Association, Inc

House Fire

More - Are YOU Prepared?

by Marcie Christensen

I’ve asked this question before but in a different context.  I was asking if you were prepared when it was time to say goodbye to your pet pig.  You can read that article:  "Are You Prepared for an Emergency?"  Another article we wrote was are you prepared in an emergency such as a natural disaster. You can read that article: "Natural Disasters".

But the purpose of this article is to bring things a little closer to home.  What will YOU do if your neighbors home goes up in flames?  One of CPPA’s long time members contacted me recently with this exact situation.  She and her husband were out to breakfast.  She got a call on her cell phone from her mother that the neighbor’s home was on fire.  FLAMES shooting out of the second story.  My friend has two dogs and two pigs.  The dogs were in her house and the pigs were in their pen outside.

After calling 911 to make sure the fire department knew of the fire, she sprinted home.  She worried about what to do with the pigs and dogs if her house caught on fire.  The fire fighters got the dogs outside but they had no idea what to do with the pigs either, so they just stood by and waited.  Meanwhile the fire fighters managed to save her home but the neighbors no longer have a second story.

I asked my friend if she was prepared if HER home had caught on fire?  What would she have done?  Thank you my friend for sharing this invaluable information with us all.  Here are her answers: “Well I don’t think you can be prepared, but here are some of the things we thought about:

1)      The pets, so you get them out, what do you do with them?  The neighbors couldn’t find a hotel that would take the dog.  They left him in the bottom burned out part of their house overnight in a crate.  We offered to take the dog but they wouldn’t let us.  So make sure you have friends, family or a boarding facility you can get the pets too while you transition.

2)      We also had to lend our neighbors a leash because they left the house without one for the dog.  So make sure you have those, maybe a spare in your car.

3)      Know your insurance agent!  He did not know his but he knew where the policy information was in the house.  The fireman saved that drawer with the paperwork.  Otherwise that could have delayed the whole process.

4)      I always get angry because people don’t park their cars in their garage.  They use the garage for storage.  Well if our house would have caught on fire we would have lost our car, motorcycle, boat.  So we no longer park the car in the garage.  You are going to need your cars in the event of an emergency!

I really didn’t find myself caring about material stuff.  All that can be replaced.  If you are into pictures you may want to store those in your computer on one of those offsite storage places like 

Have an inventory of what you own and keep that inventory offsite.  It’s amazing what you don’t remember during an emergency.   

Your pets will also react to your panic.  Be prepared for that…the dogs were extremely hyped.  Not sure if it was from the smoke, fire, fireman, heat or all of the above.  But they were hard to manage.   

Our pigs and my mom were well prepared.  She was outside her front door ready to go!  The pigs were both at their gate ready to go!

Oh and don’t drive over the fire hose like my husband did.  The fireman will get mad at you.  But hey…anything for

the pets!”

Chris and I recently completed our CERT, DART, Noah’s Wish training and FEMA classes.  All of these help train you for disasters and emergencies.  Once you are trained you can become a First Responder in the event of a disaster and if you so choose you can deploy to help at a disaster as a First Responder under these organizations.

For more info:

CERT National: 

and for local DART teams in your area, search Disaster Animal Response Team.

Cats look down on you...Dogs look up to you...

Pigs look you square in the eye.