| Tornado Chasers

Search and Rescue dogs, and the aftermath of tornados


When watching videos of violent tornados (Moore, Joplin etc.), it’s obvious that the response time from emergency services after the tornado is critical for the survival of victims trapped in the debris.
The truth however, is that human SAR efforts are often not efficient enough, due to the fact the humans can only see the surface of the debris, hear someone calling for help (If they are conscious), or just getting lucky where they choose to dig.

Dogs however, can do all of that, plus they have some of the best smelling capabilities on the planet.
Now I’m wondering if this is something worth pursuing. I live in mid-west Oklahoma, and have a 9 month old Golden Retriever. She is really smart and I’m a storm chaser, so I was thinking that it would be possible that she could learn how to assist in finding people in debris.

Is this something that I should look into training her to do? Does anybody have advice on what to do and where to start?


This is a great idea if you find yourself as a first responder but only would require training.
These people may be able to send you to the right people.



It is a great idea if you are willing to put the work in. I have worked with search and rescue dogs in the past and volunteered to participate in continuing training. Not only is the primary training time consuming, but once certified, the dog needs continued training and practice. Check out some national sites. (Easily found by googling "search and rescue dogs) Not only are these dogs trained for what your purpose is, but you can also volunteer in local search and rescue situations like missing children. It is a great service to provide and you and your pup will build a very strong bond by pereforming these services. There is always a need for additional s&r dogs.


@JarretR Great idea. Since storm chasers are likely to be the first on a disaster scene, it would be excellent if they have some SAR capabilities. Please keep us updated on your progress if you pursue this. Your post is a reminder that if someone is looking to chase storms on a serious basis, then they should learn some first response behaviors.


Your dog will now be about a year old. Have you started obedience training? Looked into what goes into search and rescue with dogs? I know someone who does this, and it took a full year for her to train her first dog- mostly because of what she didn’t know. Now, it still takes months to train the dog. And, as one person already pointed out, the training to prove/ maintain certification never ends.
For training yourself, you may want to consider taking some first aid classes. If you are the first person on scene, you will be ahead of any support. If you find someone injured
, you will need to know the basics of what to do and what NOT to do.