我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)

作者: admin 分类: Uncategorized 发布时间: 2019-02-17 17:51

Hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes… unfortunately there’s no shortage of natural and man-made disasters affecting the world today. For families with pets, the risk of losing your home is especially daunting. Not only are pet parents responsible for the safety and security of their animals, it’s substantially more difficult to find temporary shelter if you need it.

While evacuating is never ideal, especially when you share your heart and home with a small army of four-legged, furred, feathered, finned or scaled friends, it can be done. Here’s the story of how I, along with a house full of pets, evacuated my home and fled to safety in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. And, more importantly, what I’ll do differently next time.

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)

Having spent the last four decades on the Florida coast, I’m no stranger to hurricanes. More than 160 named hurricanes have made landfall in my home state since I’ve been here. And, while the powerful, deadly storms are no laughing matter, Floridians joke about hurricane preparedness involving little more than buying a case of beer and enough ice to keep it cold should the power flicker off for a few hours. This is especially true in the Tampa Bay area where I live, where it’s been almost 100 years since we’ve taken a direct hit.

I’ll admit to being ill-prepared for every single storm before Irma. But, something was different this time. Maybe it was the heartbreaking images of Houston under 15-feet of water after Hurricane Harvey made landfall just a week earlier; the hundreds of displaced and missing dogs and cats. Maybe it was the fact that my animal-family has grown exponentially in the 10 years since a strong hurricane threatened the state, but for the first time in 40 years, I was worried enough to pack up and skip town.

Forecasters began predicting a Florida landfall about a week in advance. They didn’t know exactly when or exactly where it would land, but one thing was for certain – this hurricane was going to be strong. She was moving slowly and headed toward warm waters that only serve to fuel the beast.

It quickly became clear that, no matter where Irma landed, everyone in the state would be impacted in some way – she was HUGE. Residents in the southern counties began evacuating, people from every other county began filling sandbags and boarding windows, myself included.

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)

At this point I’d planned to just hunker down inside my boarded up home, under the (perhaps naive) belief that the 20 sandbags pressed firmly against the doors would protect my home, which sits a mere 6 feet above sea level, from any real storm surge. Still, I booked a room for 3-nights at a pet-friendly hotel near Valdosta, Georgia, just in case. (TIP: Many of the online travel booking websites will allow you to reserve a hotel room without paying in advance, and offer free cancellation up to the day of check-in! Thanks to this feature, I knew that if I chose to leave, I would have a place to stay and if I didn’t, I could cancel with zero expense – remember this!)

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)People often question why those of us in the path of hurricanes make the decision to stay home, knowing the potential disaster headed our way. Consider this: More than 20 million people reside in the state of Florida, a long, narrow state with only one way out – north. All roads north very quickly become gridlocked. And, if there’s one place you don’t want to be when a hurricane hits, it’s stranded in your car. Add to that the fact that gas is nearly impossible to find in the few days before a hurricane, the thought of evacuating becomes as frightening as not.

I filled up the gas tank, visited 6 different stores in search of drinking water, and began filling containers at home with tap water for hand washing, toilet flushing, and teeth brushing. I packed large rubber storage totes with valuables and mementos. I stocked up on batteries (so many batteries) and battery-powered fans (a Florida summer without electricity is no joke), and began filling Ziploc bags with water and stuffing them in every available spot in the freezer in the hope that they’d keep the food cold when we inevitably lost power. And I kept suitcases for myself and my daughter packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

But, only a fraction of my family was prepared for at this point. The rest of my family, you see, are animals: two 70+ pound dogs, a senior cat, a large green iguana, a tank-full of fish, two ball pythons, and a squirmy little hamster. And, if I wasn’t prepared to take the whole family with me, I wouldn’t leave. (With one exception… I’m sorry fish. Evacuating with a 30-gallon tank is all but impossible – but I still made preparations, we’ll get to that shortly.)

My dogs typically eat a raw diet, so I stocked up on freeze-dried raw dog food. Knowing we may be stuck inside the house (or on the road and in a hotel room if we evacuate), I also stocked up on bully sticks to keep the dogs content. The cat was stocked with food, but, like a lot of cats, will refuse to eat in a strange environment or when he’s stressed. For him, I made sure to have plenty of his favorite treats. Yoshi, the iguana, eats a variety of fresh vegetables that don’t require refrigeration, the snakes weren’t due to be fed for at least another week and a half, and Roscoe the hamster had plenty of food and treats.

I put all of the animals’ supplies, including their food, water, bowls, collars (with ID tags), leashes, waste bags, a few disposable litter boxes, toys, and treats into a large rubber tote, ready to grab-and-go if needed.

For the fish, I bought a battery-powered air pump to keep their bubblers bubbling. Although without electricity their lights and filter wouldn’t operate, the pump would keep the water moving and oxygenated. Unless my home was destroyed, they would be ok.

As Irma continued churning toward the state, I felt I was as prepared as I could possibly be. I’m also fairly certain I had amassed the largest private collection of peanut butter and sandwich bread in the country. And then, the 5:00am update from the National Hurricane Center changed everything. It looked like Irma would be heading right for me.

I decided it was time to go.

There was just one problem. Some of my family consider one another potential food sources, so piling them all together in my compact SUV would be a challenge. The dogs were easy, they just put on their travel harnesses and get belted into the backseat like usual, no sweat. The cat, though he wouldn’t be thrilled about it, would ride in his carrier next to the dogs.

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)

鬣蜥进入了一个坚硬的猫咪载体,堆放在我们的行李箱顶部和后座后面的货物区域的橡皮包里,在那里他得到充足的温暖和暴露在阳光下的紫外线(是的,这是一个奇怪的感觉是在无云的蓝天下撤离,在美丽的阳光灿烂的日子……暴风雨前的平静),蛇进入Rubbermaid鞋子储物盒(带锁盖!),我钻进洞里进行通风,Roscoe只会在他的栖息地旅行(三只为小动物宠物欢呼!)。

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)

让每个人(以及他们所有的物资)进入汽车就像是一个生活的俄罗斯方块游戏。

令人惊讶的是,去酒店的车程相对平静,除了表达他对旅行住宿的严重不满的猫。你知道一只猫可以吃近7个小时吗?因为他们可以。下一次,我将带一张平静的音乐CD给猫在车里玩。我真的不会忘记。

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我已经预订了一个足够远的酒店,以至于我们是安全的,但足够接近,我们就可以通过一罐汽油到达那里。根据我从疏散的朋友那里得到的反馈,我设置GPS以避开主要的高速公路,到目前为止,这些高速公路更像是漫长而狭窄的停车场,里面散落着燃料过热或耗尽的车辆。我们在大约7个小时的驾驶后到达,感谢我已经预订,因为每个酒店已经预订了数百英里。

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)一旦进入房间,我打开顶部加热器,淋浴几分钟,使浴室温暖湿润鬣蜥和蛇。Yoshi在浴缸里设立营地,而蛇则留在地板上的盒子里。罗斯科很容易,我只是将他的笼子放在桌子上。这些狗对冒险和所有新气味感到兴奋。而且,猫……嗯,他是最具挑战性的撤离者,但是他有很多额外的关注和他最喜欢的食物,他最终从床后出来,并在我们临时的家外之家加入了其他家庭。

三天后,Irma过去了,道路重新开放,回家是安全的。随着每个人重新回到车里,我们前往佛罗里达州。

值得庆幸的是,对于我和我的家人,无论是双腿还是4岁,我们都回到了家中,只有轻微的风伤,足够的破碎的树枝散落在院子里,建造了整个第二个家,还有一个装满腐烂食物的冰箱。我们都很好,即使是鱼。几天后,我们的力量(以及我们的舒适程度)又回来了。

最后,我们证明你可以撤离,即使是一个满是宠物的房子,即使这些宠物中有几只想要互相吃饭。它需要一些计划,大量准备和相当大的耐心。

我如何疏散一个充满宠物的房子(以及我下次不同的做法!)

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