This website copyright © 1999 by Laura Mowrey

In lieu of the recent earthquake here in the Pacific Northwest, I decided perhaps an article on being ready for a disaster was more then over-due.
Depending on what area of the country you live in, disasterís can come in many forms;

Volcanic Eruptions
Power Outages

If one of these happened in your area right this very minute, would you be prepared to survive several days
without water, heat, or ample groceries if you had to? Do you have a plan with your loved ones regarding what
each of you will do if your apart when a disaster strikes? How about your animals, are you set to meet
their needs as well? I have to say that I thought I was well-prepared for any disaster. Two years ago I stocked special cupboards
with bags and bags of canned foods, beef jerky, nuts, peanut butter, and lots of juice and bottled water. I
filled a suitcase with medical supplies, a radio, flashlights, ample batteries, dozens of candles, matches, cash,
etc.... And I made sure I kept well stocked with animal supplies. We even went out and purchased a
generator to provide us with power and heat.
And yet, when this quake hit, I realized that I was almost out of both dog and cat food. What would I have done
had this quake really been devastating? Let me tell you, it was as if reality reared its ugly head and
slapped me right in the face. I went out later that day and bought more then ample supplies and food for
ALL the animals here, including a lot of canned dog and cat food in the event the bags got wet. And I
filled everyoneís prescriptions that had gotten far too low.
Keep in mind, it is best if you keep things together, in protected, waterproof, durable containers,
rather then scattered all throughout your house.
There are numerous items you should have on hand:

1. Enough food and bottled water to last you, and your animals for at
least a week.

2. Candles, batteries, matches, plastic garbage bags, toilet paper, radio,
and medical supplies. **Make up a separate medical supply kit for your animals.

3. Some form of heat; keep a camp stove on hand, at the very least, and plenty
of fuel for it. A generator is worth itís weight in gold if your without power....but you must make
sure you have an ample supply of gas to keep it running. Gas pumps may not be running at the local gas
stations so keep a good amount stored at home. Even barbecues can be used to heat things up.
Hot water bottles will provide warmth for your animals, and the water can be heated on a camp stove or barbecue
grill. Keep a supply of safe heating devices from your local hardware or camping supply stores. If
you own a generator, you can microwave the heat discs and run a space heater or heating pads.

4. Lots of blankets, for you, and to put around your hedgieís cages (or any
other exotic pets you may have that must be kept warm)to block in warmth. Near their cages I also keep
medium sized sterilite containers, 1 for each hedgie. In each one are blankets, heating devices,
bottled water, dishes, and some non-perishable food. These make for easy and quick get-aways in the event of a
fire or evacuation. Smaller kennels with dividers would work well too. I also keep a well-stocked medical
supply bag for my hedgies and another for my other animals where they are easy to grab.
Tackle boxes make excellent medical bags.

5. Prescriptions: make sure to keep both yours and your animals prescriptions filled.

6. Cash: Keep a stash of bills (of low denomination) somewhere in your
house. No one will be accepting checks or credit cards during a time like this and they
may be unable to make change for larger bills.

7. Pet Door Signs: These are an excellant way of letting your neighbors
or firemen, etc, know exactly what is in your house. They come in all different sizes and styles
that stick to your doors and windows, and on them you list all your pets and where they are located.
I recommend putting one on each door that leads in and out of your house.....as well as one on each
window on adjacent ends of your house. Make sure your Vets name and phone number are on each one. You
can obtain these from your local Humane Society, some pet stores and I have also seen
them in pet catalogs.

Itís time to take a look around you......
Itís time to take inventory......
Are you Disaster-Ready?

Written by: Laura Mowrey March 2001