Wow, it's been a long couple of weeks. First, Harvey hit Texas. Our grandparents live in Texas, not far from Corpus Christi. Fortunately, they were out of town when it hit. Their house did not have any damage although they lost power and had to toss everything in the fridge and freezer. So they were blessed.
As Harvey was destroying Texas, we started to ramp up our emergency preparations. It was a horrible reminder. Our house in Norfolk finally sold and closed the last week of August. That gave us the financial cushion to buy things we couldn't afford before.
Then Irma became more of a problem for Florida.
Mom is a government employee and part of the FEMA team for documenting damage. That means she couldn't evacuate before the storm. So we prepped for a week without power and water.
As Irma kept shifting west, storm surge flooding became more of a danger. So mom packed bags in case we had to leave our duplex due to flooding.
Then it seemed like we were going to be on the western side of the eye which is the bad side. Then mom had to prep a safe room for us. Our safe room was the master bathroom. It was the most interior room and had no windows. It was small. From the information we had, it seemed like we would be in that bathroom for several hours. Mom did her best to figure out what we would need to be comfortable and safe for that long.
Pug crates stacked in the shower. Litter box on top to keep it away from the pugs.
Kitty carrier on the other side of the shower. She didn't want to be in it, but it was there for when we needed it.
Here we all are on the floor. Mom used the cushions from the love seat plus the chaise lounge cushion to make a soft spot to sit. We had several pillows and blankets for more cushion.
We had water, potty pads, distraction chews, calming meds (Rescue Remedy, Sileo and Feliway spray), snacks for mom. Laptop, phone, crank radio, lantern. Plus a bunch more stuff.
Fortunately, we were only in there for five hours.
It could have been a lot worse for us. God definitely had his hand over us. More than 70% of our county lost power. Our little neighborhood looked like an island of light surrounded by darkness last night. We can hear generators going all around us. We are incredibly blessed to have never lost power or internet. The internet is almost as important as other utilities now because it is how we communicate and get information. It's not just blogs and funny videos. It's how we know what is going on outside our doors, how we get messages to friends and family.
We were pretty prepared for this, more than most people we know who have lived in Florida for years. Even so, we learned some lessons on what to do, what not to do, what else we need to prepare.
If you are not prepared for an emergency in your house, please make a plan. It will be overwhelming at first, but you have to start somewhere. You do not want to be in a situation like thousands of people are here. Post-Katrina, emergency managers got a lot smarter about pets, but as pet people, we still need to be better prepared ourselves. Shelters give you just that, shelter. A roof over your head. They aren't designed for comfort. It's up to us to make things comfortable for ourselves. It's possible, if we plan ahead.
Although we aren't experts in emergency management, if anyone wants a post or two on how to plan for emergencies, please comment. We are happy to walk through our plans, supply lists, to-do lists with you and answer questions.