How I Would Prepare My Dogs For A Natural Disaster

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It has been a month since I wrote last about my brood of five toy poodles. And in that month I have been brought to tears several times. I have watched the East Coast weather blow in, flood the beaches and cities, destroying neighborhoods and blow out again. Now we wait for the winds to start again and for the Nor’easter to visit. When is enough enough? The snow and wind roared in and left thousands once again cold and often times homeless.

I watch the rescues and applaud every time I see a family with their pets, huddled in safety. And I wonder–if it were me, would I be ready? How would I manage with five dogs? How would my dogs react to the changes in air pressure and the anxiety they sense coming from me? Should I stay behind and hope for the best?

I have given lots of thought to this, and I have developed my own survival plan for my husband, myself, and our five dogs.

  • It starts with pre-planning. Now. Today. Not 48 hours before it’s too late.
  • I would put a four-day supply of dry dog food in a strong plastic bag and put it in the freezer. I would add some treats as well.
  • In a cloth bag (preferably waterproof) I would put copies of the dogs health records and vaccination papers, extra collars, tags, and a container of clean-up bags.
  • I will shove some old towels in the bag and some dog sweaters.
  • We don’t have medicines that the dogs take but they each have a special herbal blend that I would also add to the bag.
  • If we have to leave, I would grab the bag, the freezer food, my personal belongings, and off we go.

But what about the waiting? Waiting for word to evacuate? Waiting for the storm to arrive? Minutes seem like hours when you are sitting and listening for the arrival of Mother Nature’s wrath. How do I keep everyone together? I have decided that, for me, putting dog leads on the dogs makes the most sense. That will keep them with me and not allow them to seek shelter under a bed or some other spot where I could not find them. With the leads on, I can put my arm through the leash holders and with my husband helping we would have what we need for a quick exit. Whether being rescued, evacuated, or just leaving.

I just hope I never need to put this plan into action, but I believe it is most important to plan. Look at the sad, tragic pictures coming from the East Coast. Being prepared will give me the confidence to move on.

Most shelters welcome your pets in the case of emergency. Don’t wait until it is too late. Don’t put yourself or your pets in harm’s way. Be ready to leave your home if necessity warrants.

My emergency bag hangs by the back door. I’m ready, just in case.

Until next month, be safe and donate to your favorite animal resource group. Every small gift is appreciated.

Jenet Mullins is a retired sales executive from the media industry. As a Poodle Parent she shares her experiences and true life situations as a rescue adopter. Find her at Mediagal on Twitter or Jenet Mullins on Facebook.

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