This weekend I’m in a unique country setting in the woods on the Parker River in Massachusetts. It borders a wildlife area, protected marshes, and is only 4 miles from Plum Island which is bracing for erosion; residents are hoping their houses won’t drop into the ocean.
With coffee in hand I spent this weekend battening down the hatches here for Hurricane Sandy, expecting to make landfall somewhere between the Chesapeake Bay and the New Jersey shore.
According to news reports all evacuation shelters in NY. NJ and Massachusetts are pet friendly! So if you live in a low-lying area and must leave your home you may take your pet with you.
In my home in Ipswich, MA., I never had to worry about electricity because our small town had our own electric company and wind turbines. (Lucky us, when others were dark, we were lit!)
Your practice for this week is to sustain your own home, pets and family.
First things first, water and light. We have checked all flashlights, and they are in working order. Extra batteries, check. Re-stocked First Aid Kits, check. Coolers full of ice, check. Medications, check. Full gas tank, check. Digital smart appliances recharged, check.
Along with making sure you have enough food, don’t forget to set aside water, especially if you have a well. You will lose water if your power goes out because the well pump will stop. So after covering the bulkhead with a heavy plastic tarp over some leaky openings I topped off our rain barrel water barrel that holds 60 gallons. Just in case the power goes out we always take a last shower and leave the bathtub full (for future toilet usage).
All that preparation should keep us and our unopened freezer food safe for four days without power. (It helps that our organic garden and our Fall canning left us over 10 cases of jams, pickles, tomato sauces, caponata, vinegars and vegetables!)
Secondly, don’t forget your pets! Here are some storm prep tips from the ASPCA:
*Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
*Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. Micro-chip your pet as a more permanent form of identification.
*Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies. Take this with you if you evacuate.
*Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
*Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.
To those I would add, stock up on water and DO NOT use candles in a home with pets – especially cats. No one wants the possibility of a tip over and fire amid the storm.
And last but not least, maintain a sense of humor, try to relax, play a few games of Spite and Malice, and good luck!
NOTE: Wednesday, November 7th, 6:30PM at Zumi’s in Ipswich, MA., meet town leaders, environmental advocates and residents as we introduce the details of the Getting to Zero Project and the plans for the location of a net zero cultural/arts/sustainability center!
ASPCA, preparedness for your pets
Prepare, plan, stay informed at FEMA