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My favorite monster is the vampire. I've read tons of books and watched loads of movies featuring vampires. The best one is 30 Days of Night. Wow, I was mesmerized. I even watched all the special features on the DVD.
My least favorite monster is the zombie. What I love and hate about zombie movies is that they don't always tell you how the zombie apocalypse started and there doesn't seem to be a way to really survive. The only zombie movies I can tolerate are Resident Evil (I used to love the video game) and World War Z. After a second watching of World War Z, I started to wonder what I'd do if I stepped out of my house to see a zombie shuffling towards me. How would I keep the dogs safe?
My Reality as a Dog Mom
According to a Pet360 survey, 46% of pet owners don't have a disaster plan. J and I are included in that 46%; we have the stickers on the windows near the front door that tell Fire Fighters that there are pets in the house, but they came with the house; I haven't updated them since we moved in 4 years ago. I have baseball bats in strategic places around the house and the false sense of bravado that comes with living with a cop, but I don't have a plan.
Oh, and there's a panic button on the alarm system so hopefully, when disaster hits, the power is still on.
Preparing for an Emergency
In support of National Preparedness Month, Pet360 and Red Paw Emergency Relief Team have pulled together the Four P’s of Pet Preparedness:
1 – Plan Ahead
Many local and state health and safety regulations do not allow pets to accompany their owners to disaster shelters (Philadelphia DOES allow pets in disaster shelters). Determine the best evacuation plan, including where to go and how to get your pets there safely. A few things to always have on hand include:
- first aid kit for humans and pets
- 3 months of bottle water
- 3 months of non-perishable food for humans and pets
- camping gear (sleeping bags, blankets, warm clothes, comfortable hiking shoes, bug repellent)
- a bat with nails through it – even if you don't use it, it's scary as hell and should intimidate bad guys
2 – Practice with Your Pets
The first step of any pet evacuation plan is to quickly and safely remove your pet from harm’s way. Your pet may be inclined to run and hide when disaster strikes, so rehearse a “come” command with your dog and identify a reliable way to find your cat, maybe by opening a can of food. Also, practice putting your cat in a carrier and getting your dog in and out of the car. The more you practice, the more comfortable they'll be.
3 – Pack an Emergency Kit
Assembling an emergency go-kit well in advance of a disaster will ensure nothing gets left behind. Your pet emergency kit should include first aid supplies, proof of ownership, vaccination history, and at least one of your pet’s favorite toys or blankets. Not sure what else to pack? Check out this list supplied by the Red Cross…
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Flashlight Available on the Red Cross Store
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) Available on the Red Cross Store
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit Available on the Red Cross Store
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket Available on the Red Cross Store
- Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
4 – Protect Your Pets When They're Home Alone
Disasters can strike when you’re not home. Display a Pet Alert sticker on your front door or window to let first responders know how many pets are inside. Remember to include your veterinarian’s contact information.
Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse
As a grown-up, I understand that it's highly unlikely that I'll step out to empty the trash only to be chased back inside by zombies, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't be prepared for an emergency. So my goal is to have a plan in place (practiced several times) before the new year. And during that time, I'll be sure to watch a few more zombie movies, despite how much I hate them because you never know.
Do you have a plan?