September 30, 2012

Disaster preparedness is 4 everybuddy

by winecountrydog Tilin Corgi

Every September is "National Preparedness Month" in the U.S.

This is definition of basic preparedness: Being able to be on your own for at least 72 hours during/after a disaster.

Being prepared requires that each of us four-legged and two-legged family members, including finned and feathered friends, has enough supplies to either shelter-in-place or evacuate and survive for three days. And being prepared requires having a realistic evacuation plan.

In September, Mum gives our disaster Go-Bags the annual makeover and Go-Packs the semi-annual makeover. "Go-Packs" are our small packs, often just a Ziploc bag containing pet or people supplies like supplements, meds, and frozen foods. They are stored in different locations like fridge, freezer, Go-Bag, or car. 

Mum does also review evacuation scenarios and make us do practice drills. Herself marked up some new maps covering Pacific coast, mountains, and valleys where we often travel these days.

Meezer did enjoy sticking her nose in Go-Bags and doing drills, taking rides in the car in her carrier.

Meezer meows that everybuddy should have a prawpurr evac carrier.

This is a prawpurr kitteh evac carrier? BOL!

Certainly not. But it makes as much sense as some of the crazzy pet preparedness info we read.

Disaster preparedness is for everybuddy -- people and pets, horses and farm animals, big cats and other wild animals who live in captivity. Yet much of the pet preparedness info is mediocre at best and sometimes even dead WRONG. 

Consider this advice: A certain Southern Cal NGO tells pet owners "Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept you and your pets in an emergency. If you learn that you may need to evacuate, you should call ahead for reservations." Know ahead of time where a disaster will strike and what your evacuation route will be? Good advice for psychic pet owners eh.

Do not expect to get through on the phone to hotels or motels during a disaster, and do not count on them to hold a room. Depending on the type of disaster, a better plan could be to drive like howl out of the disaster region and then see what kind of pet accommodations are around. But if the disaster is an earthquake, you likely not going anywhere, not even leaving da house for a while. By the woof, we believe that concierges should waive no-pet policies in times of disaster.

One resource for help in making grrreat Pet Go-Bags and pet evacuation plans is your veterinarian! Remember to ask your vet for help in customizing your pet first aid kit.

Paw-notes: Mum sez, "At the very least, keep maps, cash, contact phone numbers, and cell phone chargers handy at home, in your car, and in your workplace. Encourage pet rescue organizations and animal shelters to do the same. Find time to learn local, county, and state geography, and to become familiar with main highways. As you learn more, mark-up your maps with information such as alternate evacuation routes, hospitals, county fairgrounds, veterinary ER clinics, and pet-friendly places such as Motel 6 locations. The more thought you give to preparation, the better off you'll be in an actual disaster."

Thanx woofs to @hollygomadly for tweeting the great cat pic. Someday ourselves will offer our own pet checklists and other disaster prep tips we have been compiling.

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