Panhandle Activation update

Update April 20, 2017

Today we lay our pitchfork down and close out this activation.  It’s been an honor helping to support the disaster response with fuel credits. Helping defray the cost of delivering food and supplies to farmers and animals impacted by wildfires was one way we support those who need it most.  Below is a photo sent to us by one trucker who wrote to thank us for the support.

Thanks to Billie, Will and the rest of the Panhandle group on Facebook.  You can Join their Facebook Group Here

March 31, 2017

On March 6, wildfires swept through an estimated 1.5 million acres in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Thousands of cattle were lost, and homes were destroyed. On Tues Mar 28, at the request of the 2017 Panhandle Relief Facebook group (a group organizing relief convoys via Facebook), Humanity Road activated Operation Pitchfork.

tractor Trailer loaded with hay is Refueling to deliver the hay

Refueling to deliver the hay

The pictures of devastated farm land, livestock and animals injured or killed in the fires still tug on our heartstrings.  An outpouring of aid has emerged from across the country. Convoys of trucks are loaded with much needed hay, animal feed, fencing, and farm supplies.  Support is coming from the extension offices,  transportation industry, the agricultural industry, friends and family, and in some areas from local police who are providing escorts for the convoys.

As devastating and heart wrenching as the aftermath of the fires is, the REAL story is the response. A response not just of farmers helping farmers. This is a story of THOUSANDS of ordinary Americans helping their fellow man in a time of need. A story of people who are not farmers or ranchers, but computer programmers, doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, truck drivers, housewives, school kids, all kinds of seemingly unrelated occupations. This is a story of millennials, gen-xers, and baby boomers coming together. Folks from Smallville and from Metropolis.”  shares Tommy Roach, a member of the 2017 Panhandle Fire Relief group.  This Facebook group of over 2,400 members has become a working group to help reduce donation management issues by sharing donation drop points, critical up-to-date road and transportation announcements, and helping to coordinate convoys.

This is a true whole community approach. “When done effectively, digital volunteer systems help local populations by fostering a neighbor-helping-neighbor system, reducing demands on local emergency services, providing a portal to help guide the public to solutions, and helping to speed the recovery process – all with just a click of a mouse,” shares Cat Graham, Chief Operations officer with Humanity Road. “It’s how we were founded, and we support the communities who step up to take on that responsibility.”  

The 2017 Panhandle Fire Relief group is headquartered in Amarillo, Texas and is assisting the extension offices in several states.  “We have activated to support their work, their request was simple. Help us keep those trucks moving. We need fuel.”  

In the end it’s neighbor helping neighbor and sometimes that neighbor is right next door, or 1,000 miles away.   We are honored to provide support. You too can help support their efforts.





Panhandle Fires, 2017 from Pacecar Productions on Vimeo.



Pet Safety: Tornadoes

According to FEMA, “tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.”

Remember, storms scare some pets, and they may hide. Know your pet’s hiding places so you can retrieve them quickly. Keep a leash, crate, or other safe pet restraint handy so you can lead or carry your pet to the safe place you have designated as the “go-to” place when a tornado threatens.

Be Prepared
Get ready long before a tornado actually occurs by making sure your pets will be as safe as possible in the unlikely event that a tornado touches down and damages your home. Make sure all dogs and cats are microchipped, and keep collars with identification tags in an easily accessible place. Even if you don’t collar your pets normally for safety reasons, they should have collars with ID tags available for emergencies in which they might escape your home and be found by a neighbor. Additionally, be sure that you have enough sturdy airline-safe animal carriers to hold cats and any small pets present in the home.

Tornado Safety for Dogs

Practice hiding together in the bathroom to get your dog familiar with the response routine.

Practice hiding together in the bathroom to get your pet familiar with the response routine. Store treats somewhere nearby to make it fun.

If a tornado watch is in effect, leash your dogs, make sure they’re wearing the collars mentioned above, and take them into the basement of your home. Try to get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like work table– if the tornado causes objects to fall into the basement or from shelves in the basement, a solid table will protect you. Dogs may be frightened by extreme weather and pace, whine, or attempt to hide. If your dog has the habit of crawling behind the toilet and freezing when frightened (a common behavior in dogs), let him– toilets are often the only thing left intact after a tornado, and behind the toilet is a fairly safe place. If you don’t have a basement, go to a windowless room, preferably a bathroom– the extra framework needed when building a bathroom makes them sturdier. Put as many walls between you and the tornado outside as possible.

Tornado Safety for Cats
If a tornado watch is in effect, collar your cats and place them in airline-approved plastic carriers. Put these carriers in a basement or a windowless bathroom or closet, preferably under a sturdy piece of furniture. Secure cats as soon as a tornado watch is announced for your area. It’s easier to let them out later if there’s no tornado than to find a scared cat that’s hidden due to tornado sirens wailing and the sound of a tornado approaching outside.

Tornado Safety for Caged Pets
Most caged pets can be placed in airline-approved carriers in a basement or windowless room, just like cats. However, aquariums or pets that can’t be removed from a climate-controlled environment for any length of time pose a particular challenge. The best you can really do for an aquarium is put it under a table or desk. If even that is impossible, if you have time, cover it with a futon or mattress to blunt the impact of falling objects and put a barrier between the aquarium and the wind. However, glass is usually the first thing broken when a tornado hits. Unfortunately, the best plan is probably simply to avoid keeping fish if you live in an area where tornadoes touch down frequently.”

Remember, a Tornado Watch is to let you know to be on the lookout for a possible tornado in the area; a Tornado Warning is a notification that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar. If a Tornado Warning is issued, seek shelter immediately!

If you live in a mobile home, do not stay there if a tornado watch is issued! Plan ahead by locating the nearest safe shelter that accepts pets. When a tornado watch is issued, crate your pet and go to the shelter. Don’t wait for a tornado warning.

Tornado Safety Resources:

FEMANOAAAmerican Red Cross