When, as humans, we think about disasters and preparedness, we think first about ourselves and our families. Often we include our pets as part of our family, but sometimes smaller pets are forgotten. Small pets evacuate easily, but evacuating with pets requires care and diligence.
A few years ago, I lived in an apartment complex. I liked it well enough–I was single, so didn’t need much space, and it was near work. One morning, a few weeks after I moved in, at about 5:30 in the morning, the fire alarms went off. I had to collect the pets. The dog was exhilarated. Snot, the cat, was concerned that we were all going to die and perhaps she should stay under the bed.
Luckily (Unluckily?) a neighbor had come home drunk and started cooking eggs. When he passed out, the eggs burned and the fire alarm went off.
In the meantime, I spent every fire alarm concerned that this was a “real one” and my home would burn down. So I began preparing to truly evacuate with my pets. Evacuating with a dog differs greatly from evacuating with a cat. Dogs see adventure, cats see disaster. I developed a few tips for evacuating your cat, both capturing the beast at home as well as travelling with her.
This past week, I’ve spent a bunch of time watching the weather channel. For some reason, they kept predicting thunderstorms in the afternoon. I think, overall, it rained for about five minutes, and I didn’t see any thunder or lightening.
While I watched, I noticed several areas of the country with major weather incidents. Tornadoes. Tropical storm-like things that weren’t going to turn into hurricanes, but would cause bigger thunderstorms than we see here in Michigan. And I thought about disaster planning.
What would I take for my pets, and what would I leave behind? If I built a bug out bag, what would I put in it? Here’s my list of things I would take for my pets if I had to evacuate.