Here are good tips from tornado survivors – most of these come from the ‘wish I’d thought of these items before the tornado’ list.
Be sure to put this stuff in your home emergency kit just case. Depending on the level of destruction (your home, neighborhood or the entire town?) some of these things may not be easily accessible unless you have it stored ahead of time.
Cash for purchases (Why? If there’s no electricity, ATMs won’t work.)
Cell phone, phone card, or quarters for land line.
Clothing and personal items – Pretend you’re camping in the woods for two weeks – everyone in your family will need socks, good shoes (cover the ankles!) underwear, deodorant, meds, toothbrush/paste, short and long sleeved shirts/tops, shorts, long slacks/jeans, pajamas, hat (sun protection), diapers, formula, etc.
Pets – Pet food, meds, leash, collar, ID. Also, consider nearby friends/boarders/pet care providers if needed.
Notebook/pen and envelope for your Disaster Diary – track and all cash and credit card expenses, receipts and cash flow, names of disaster agencies, account numbers, phone numbers, and more.
If your home is destroyed, you’ll need to think about temporary housing. This may be a hotel, maybe a friend’s house?
Finally – you’ll need to ask for help and aid longer than you think.
In light of the sub-freezing temps around the country, we’re re-posting advice about dogs and cold weather.
I’m ready to come inside
In January, 2009, we spoke to Dr. Eric Ruhland, a veterinarian from Hastings, Minnesota, (current temp today: 1, feels like -12) and asked him about his guidelines for keeping dogs safe in this frigid weather.
1. Small Dogs (under 20 pounds, up to 50)
Smaller breeds get colder faster. Keep them outdoors no more that five minutes.
Why? Small dogs, like Yorkies, have a larger surface to volume ratio – which means more surface area and smaller bodies (the opposite of an elephant which has a lot of volume).
2. Large Dogs (over 50 pounds)
Larger dogs, like German Shepherds, can be outside up to 10 minutes in this freezing weather.
3. An Outdoor Dog?
If you have a dog that’s always outside no matter what, they need an enclosed area of an enclosed exclusion from the elements that has at least six inches of bedding. There are laws in every state for keeping a dog safe and outdoors. As an example, here is Minnesota’s law.
4. For All Dogs
For all dogs, watch for frostbite. Dr. Ruhland says there are several areas to be concerned about:
Noses (they are wet and can easily freeze)
The inside back of the thighs (almost no hair!)
The insides of ears
And Dr. Ruhland’s rule of thumb? If you think it’s cold outside, so does your dog.
Lots of people bring their pets on vacations. There’s a lot to remember, but here are three of our favorite tips from over the years:
I like to take out and measure each meal of food for the dog and put each meal in a small, resealable plastic bag. I know if I just grab one of those bags it’s the right amount of food and I don’t have to bring a measuring cup.
– Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish.
A change in the water might cause diarrhea and intestinal distress for the pet. If you’re going to a different area, use bottled water. Also, your vet may be able to prescribe an anti-diarrheal medication or suggest a brand of canned food for your pet to prevent loose stools. – Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds
And this one is just plain smart:
Have a little tag made that has your cell phone number on it (many pet stores have machines that do this) – stick that on your dog’s collar when you’re traveling. If your dog gets away, they’ll call you at home but you won’t be there! - Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advsor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish
Great advice after we tweeted about Pet Travel Kits – Rachel Farris from PetRelocation.com contacted us with this tip for pets and airline travel:
>>For photocopies of health documentation, we use plastic shipping sleeves (normally used for address labels) to secure the documentation to the top of the travel crate. These sleeves are great as they show the content, stick to the crate easily and usually have a resealable closure – perfect for airport officials to quickly and easily access the documentation.<<
Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend’s safety.
Restraints and Airbags
Airbags deployed in the front seat could harm your pet. And, an unrestricted pet will be thrown about and possibly injured, or injure a passenger during panic braking or in a collision. Pets should be restrained in the rear seat in pet harnesses or pet carriers that are secured by seat belts.
Don’t let your cat or dog run around in the car – it’s dangerous for both of you. Cats who don’t like the car may go berserk and try to claw their way out, or claw at you, or at the very worst, climb under your pedals. Always cage cats and place the cage on the rear floor.
Heads Out the Window? No!
See that picture with the dog’s head out of the window? Don’t do it! Do not let your dog hang his head out the window! He loves it, but it’s an easy way to get eye damage from flying dust and dirt.
No Smoking, Please
Don’t smoke in the car. This can increase feelings of nausea in humans, so most likely it would do the same to your pet.
Don’t let your dog or cat sit on your lap while you are in the driver’s seat. It can be dangerous in a panic situation to try to maneuver around your pet.
Too Hot? Too Cold? Not in the Car!
Never, EVER leave an animal inside a car on a very cold or hot day. Every year, hundreds of animals are killed this way.
Famous? Well, the playing field levels out when you’re having a baby, getting married or adopting a pet (especially pets and babies; they don’t know if you’re famous or not….)
1) People magazine is reporting that Lance Armstrong and his girlfriend are expecting a baby. Obviously, they’ll be reading our advice from moms, nurses and doctors on what to bring to the hospital.
2) There are questionable reports that NFL football star Tom Brady and model Giselle Bundchen are engaged. They are reviewing what saved brides and grooms from disaster in our Wedding Day Emergency Kits for the bride and the groom.
3) Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston are celebrating a box office success with Marley and Me. We’re sure they read info in Get Prepared – Pets.