Although we live primarily in Phoenix, Arizona, for the last few months we've been at our home in Long Island, NY. As everyone has heard by now, hurricane Joaquin has been hammering parts of the Caribbean and is working it's way North towards Western Bermuda. Joaquin, a high Category 4 storm, is currently tracking with wind speeds of 155 MPH. If wind speeds increase by just 2 MPH it will become a Category 5 storm.
|I took Phoebe for a very short walk on Friday morning. She was not too happy, I should have put a jacket or sweater on her!|
As you may recall, this area was severely hammered by Super Storm Sandy just a couple of years ago. Everyone around here is wary when a storm is expected. New Jersey and several other neighboring states have already declared a State of Emergency. Although the storm won't hit land in this area, the big concern is dangerous flooding.
I live 5 minutes from the water so I'm monitoring any potential flooding situations in my neighborhood. I'm also on guard with plenty of bottled water and canned food, flashlights, transistor radio, and candles in case of a power outage. I've also gathered supplies together to ensure I have emergency supplies for the dogs in the event we had to evacuate. It's very doubtful that we will, but I think it's smart to be prepared for anything, storms can be so unpredictable. Here's my plan:
If I need to evacuate the immediate area for any reason, I'll head to my mom's house 30 miles away in Western Long Island. If her area needs to evacuate as well, the plan would be to head North and West towards Pennsylvania. I know my town's evacuation route plan and the safest emergency routes. My town has a web site with emergency preparedness and evacuation tips, yours probably does as well - are you familiar with it?
|Don't leave your pets behind if you need to evacuate unless it's absolutely necessary. They may not be safe there.|
Many people have stickers on their windows telling rescue workers that there are pets inside so they can look for them. However, whenever possible you should take your pets with you if you evacuate. If you've taken pets with you and you have one of these stickers, use a black magic marker to write "Evacuated" over the pet's information on the sticker. That way rescuers won't waste valuable time searching for pets that are no longer in the home.
These are the supplies I have ready for my two dogs if we ever need to evacuate:
In a canvas shoulder bag I pack:
** Large jug of tap water plus several days worth of bottled water. A portable dog water bowl.
** Dry dog food for 2 days and food bowls.
**Canned food for 2 days plus food rolls, which are lightweight and easy to travel with. They're also sealed in plastic and are water tight.
**I normally leave copies of my dogs' rabies vaccination certificate and other vaccination documentation from my Veterinarian in the car. I'll pack the envelope in a plastic bag to stay dry and place it in the emergency bag.
** First Aid kit with hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, bandages & bandage wrap, gauze pads, scissors, nail clippers, cotton balls & Q- tips.
** Pet wipes, a tall kitchen trash bag and zip lock bags. I love zip lock bags, I use them for everything! Doggie waste bags and a towel. We also keep a towel and blanket in the car.
** 1 or 2 toys and chew sticks to help keep the dogs calm and occupied. An evacuation can be very scary for them!
**Leashes, harnesses, and collars. I'll use a harness for both of them, a frightened pet will often try to run from whatever is scaring them.
|We are Ready to go at a moment's notice!|
On the opposite coast, people have been dealing with wildfires in California and Washington all Summer. These tragic and widespread fires have impacted many pets. Reports are just now coming out about the numbers of pets who have been lost, injured, or killed during the chaos of the wildfires.
PLEASE, if your dog or cat isn't microchipped, get them chipped as soon as you are able. As an animal shelter volunteer, I'm begging you to do that for your pets. Being chipped is probably the one thing that can reunite you with your pet above all else. It's quick and easy, just like getting a vaccination. Many shelters offer discounts throughout the year for as little as $10! Do you love your pet 10 bucks worth?
You can find updated information on Hurricane Joaquin here:
Have you ever had to evacuate your home due to an emergency? What did you do to prepare? Are any of you currently experiencing the effects of Hurricane Joaquin or other natural disaster right now? How are you handling it?
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