Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Safety

Cooper in Raleigh, NC hiding out from hurricane Irene

News is buzzing here on the east coast about hurricane Sandy.  It is rated a category one at the moment, but you never know with mother nature.  It's always good to be prepared just in case, and don't forget about preparing for your dogs' safety as well!

I was browsing some pet blogs today, and I came across this great post from a blog called Leftovers 4 Dinner about preparing for your pets' safety in the event of a hurricane.  Please read her post at the following link:

Reading this post reminded me of last August when hurricane Irene made her appearance.  Ben and I only had Cooper at the time, and we wanted to ensure the safety of all three of us.  Hurricane Irene was a category three hurricane, but luckily it lost strength before hitting North Carolina and was a category one when it hit here.  Just in case it maintained or gained strength, Ben and I came up with a game plan.
We live right on the coast here in North Carolina since Ben is in the Navy.  After hearing all of the horrible stories of pets being left behind during hurricane Katrina's rescue efforts, I wanted to make sure Cooper was safe no matter what.  Ben and I decided it would be best to head a couple of hours inland for a few days.
Raleigh, North Carolina was our choice.  It was far enough off the shore to not be too dangerous, but close enough that it wouldn't take all day to get there.  I made a reservation at a pet friendly hotel. Please make sure to follow all rules and guidelines while travelling with your pets to ensure their safety.  For example, never leave them alone in your hotel room while you go out.  Anyone can get in your room, not to mention the anxiety your pet can go through in strange surroundings without you.
We packed up for a few days.  Cooper got all of the essentials: food, bowls, toys, collar, leash, seat belt, treats, medicine, a towel for when it rained, and a comforter to lay on the bed for him.  We also made sure to pack plenty of doggie bags to pick up after Cooper when he went to the bathroom.  Businesses and other guests appreciate responsible pet owners who clean up after themselves.  It is also a sanitary necessity to keep disease from spreading.  I also travel with a small first aid book for dogs just in case.  It always feels good to be prepared.
Cooper had a nice trip to Raleigh even though it was rainy.  We went to a local dog park; it was awesome!  That is where we took the picture of Coop at the beginning of this post.  Most of the weekend though we hung out in the hotel room together snuggling and having snacks.  I am pretty sure I brought the Kong and some peanut butter for Cooper, too.  He loves that!
Luckily, hurricane Irene was not very bad.  We headed back home and only saw minimal damage and standing water on the way.  Although we could have stayed home and been just fine, it felt good to have Cooper out of harm's way....just in case.
This year we have two doggies to think of.  We have been following the news coverage pretty closely, and Ben and I have decided to stay home this time.  We will leave if we have to, but we are hoping the news coverage is accurate. 
We do have plenty of water, food, and supplies in case we need them.  I am also going to fill up an extra pitcher or two of water (we have five gallons in the closet already) because Cooper loves his water!  Just make sure you are adding your pets' water and food consumption into your emergency plan so there is enough for everyone!
Another good thing to do before a hurricane, is to locate the nearest evacuation shelter that accepts pets.  Most shelters do not allow you to bring your pets, so please plan accordingly.  It is also wise to write down a list of emergency numbers, including your vet and emergency vet in case you need them.  You may want to physically write down the numbers in case you are unable to charge your cell phone and need to use a land line.  You never know what could happen!
If you have questions about what to pack in your emergency kit or where local evacuation shelters will be, contact your local SPCA or animal shelter.  They will be able to give you information that could end up saving your pet's life.  They are there to help! 
And keep your dogs close.  I am sure they will be scared with the strong winds and rain.  Snuggle time should help you all feel better.  I know snuggle time always makes me feel a million times better!
Be safe everyone!

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