Dangerous Weather - Evacuation Plans - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Dangerous Weather - Evacuation Plans

Well, I guess it's that time of year. I just turned on the tv, only to find out our county is in a tornado watch. Last spring, while home alone in our old house, and hubby out of town, we had a tornado pass not to far from our home. It was very scary, and it just gave me a better sense of what terrible things can happen to people.

When we raised alpacas, not only did we have an evacuation plan for us, but we had a complete evacuation plan for our livestock business (alpacas). We knew how, when, and where we would evacuate to, and had a kit of items ready to take at a moments notice. Lets discuss both senerios.

One. You know you are in the direct path of very dangerous weather or a dangerous situation of some sort, how and what would you do to make sure you, your family, and your animals are safe. I know some of you have more than just kitties, so share those details also if you like.

Two. Bad weather...or things like fire also, happen unexpectedly, and without warning. What would you do? Moments go by very quickly in situations like this. Do you have things set in locations where you can just grab them and go. What about your animals? Do you have safety situations set up for them in a case such as this? Ie: Kittie carriers set in specific close to the door locations. I know you can never really know what and how things will happen in cases like that, but this might be a good opporunity to discuss and make plans.

I have to admitt, being still new to this area, this isn't something we've put together yet. And I'm looking forward to some of your ideas.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 05:31 PM
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You know, I guess I never really gave it much thought. We've been very fortunate that we have not expierenced bad weather, a fire, or any other disaster. But just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it won't. We have kitty carriers...But that's it. We don't have dog carriers because when they go to the Vet or something, the ride with us and we hold them on a leash to prevent them from getting in the way of driving. But we probably should...But as far as tornados, that is not much of a concern because Dad built a special "cellar" downstairs that we and the animals would go to if we ever did get bad weather. But we should be a little more prepared...Thanks for bringing this up Geri!

I hope the weather passes over!!!

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 06:06 PM
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The best thing that we ever did was to invest in a NOAA weather radio. It goes off as soon as NOAA sets off an alert so we get it before it even comes across the TV or radio.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 07:54 PM
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Some tips I have:

~Get the NOAA weather radio...its the best!
~Check out the noaa website. They have a weather warning map that automatically updates. You can select it for your area as close as your county and city.
~When it gets stormy around here I put the cat carriers near my bedroom so incase we have to go for shelter they can easily be put in. (Most cats can't stand carriers or they might be too scared but my two adore their carriers...they are weird )
~Vet records and my records. I have them in a fire-proof safe in my closet. I've had this thing for YEARS.
~I keep a maglight flashlight next to my bed. It doubles as a flashlight and a pretty durable weapon if necessary!
~The last thing I do to prepare is to make sure I have 2-3 camera's with charged batteries and that they are accessable so incase I get sucked up in a twister I can get some shots off! LOL Just kidding!

Ya'll all be safe in this funky weather that we're known to get from time to time.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:33 PM
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NOAA radios are great.
I have family heirlooms that CAN'T be lost, kept in a certain place, so they can be grabbed quickly and thrown in the car. I live in a mobile home, so severe weather is especially dangerous, we must be on our guard.

We have crates that are kept in an easy access place. With so many cats, I've clicker trained them all to come running when I whistle a certain way. We occasionally have drills, especially in spring.

The dogs, we open the front door and say "get in the car" and away to the car they go.

Pets come first no matter what, then we grab the heirlooms, and if there's enough time grab a few personal items. Then we head to the local church basement. Pets are unloaded first to safety, then the rest.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 08:40 PM
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I know what you mean about the weather....it just blew through here, and I do mean blow. It was pretty scary. I had Twinkie and Rocket up in my lap comforting them. I think keeping calm for their sake helps me, too.

Plans: I have none, for the following reasons:

1) fire - there's no possible way, IMO, to gather up cats and get out of the house in time. I have three cats, and it would take ten minutes to round them up and get them in carriers in normal circumstances (even if they were readily accessible, and they're not, and they won't be) and if the cats are frightened or spooked by the smoke alarms, they'll be in places where they're not to be found. Fire experts say we have three minutes or less to get out after the alarm goes off (have you checked your batteries lately?) You waste a minute in total confusion, trying to decide if it's real. You waste another minute calling 911. Then you have a minute to get out. I hope I have the presence of mind to break a window or two before I get out. I'm afraid they'll have to fend for themselves. I can't save them if I'm too late to save myself.

2) severe weather - I never go in the basement myself, so why expect my cats to. If the house is wrecked by a storm, all plans go out the window (literally and figuratively) so why bother making any? It's a waste of time, IMO.

The one thing to do I think is valuable is to put a sign(s) in doors and/or windows that state there are pets in the house, so rescuers know to look for them, if I'm incapacitated.

Plans for what to do after the emergency might be more useful. People who can take care of my cats while I try to get life back to normal. Or if I'm not here anymore, and they still are.

I think we need to keep in mind that cats are pretty good at finding ways to survive. We might think they're our precious babies who need our caretaking in every situation. But they're pretty good at fending for themselves. They certainly won't be any better off if I die trying to save them.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 09:27 PM
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Our main worry here is hurricanes. We do generally get enough notice to evacuate. The last time it happened I was working the ride out team at my hospital. My husband packed up the kitties and went to his aunt and uncle's house.
Next time we will all evacuate.

As far as a fire goes, you have given me something to think about. As Tim said, I don't know if there would be enough time to round up the cats, if they are freaked out and hiding. But I think I should start storing their carriers downstairs with us instead of upstairs. And stash some treats in the carriers, they generally will run for treats.
Also I do need to get some of those stickers to alert firemen to the fact that there are cats in the house.

Although I know a fire can still happen, I do breathe easier now that I live in a house rather than an apartment. There were just too many dumb people in our old apartments and there were a few small fires in some of the other buildings.

Loving her cat Stormy and missing her angel cat Justin 1-13-09
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 10:30 PM
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I've thought about this, too, since one of the women at work had a fire in her apartment building. Luckily she had plenty of time to get her cat and valuables out since it was the apartment ABOVE her that was on fire, but she still had to file a big insurance claim for smoke damage, water damage, bits of ceiling falling in, etc.

I really don't think I stand a chance in **** of getting the cats into their carriers in the event of a fire. I think I'd have to toss them out the door and hope for the best.

I've actually been wondering what to do in the event of a tornado, as my new apartment in Iowa doesn't have a basement. (I mean, my current apartment doesn't have a basement, either, but I think tornadoes are a bigger thing in Iowa than NC.) I assume the thing to do would be to head for the bathroom and take the cats with me (it's the only room with no windows).
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-25-2008, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Bethany
..., as my new apartment in Iowa doesn't have a basement.
You might want to ask your apartment manager about that. The local building codes in some places in tornado country require that, in the event the building has no basement, there be one room in the dwelling (usually a bathroom) that has reinforced walls.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 12:09 AM
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If we had a fire I plan on taking the cats to the car and putting them in there and move the car out of the drive way. Other than that it we ever got a tornado rare but can happen we would all get in the basement
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