preparing people and dogs for severe weather

Posted by: FurKids

preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 07:24 AM

I was pretty much glued to the weather channel last week watching the horrendous death and destruction with all the tornados. I hope everyone here is ok and that any loved ones you have in that area are also ok. Hubby has been in a tornado but I've only seen them on tv - never the likes of the tornado outbreak that went on last week. The senseless death of people and especially children and babies makes me sooooooooo angry. In my head I think I knew that little missing 3yo would never be found or if found would not be alive but when his tiny body actually was found counties away my heart lost it and I couldn't stop crying. His little 15mo old brother also died and my heart goes out to that family.

After all of that let's just say I've come to have a bit of a healthy fear of tornados. I used to never even think about it, have never once gone flying into the basement when the sirens sounded - I blew it off like so many of us think that this or that won't happen to us.

Well, that's now changed and so when we did our weekly shopping we spent a lot more money buying supplies for the basement which we've NEVER done before -- just in case we do have a tornado. Hubby is on the road 5-6 days a week and so it's just me and the furkids.

Next we had to teach the furkids how to get into the basement so that in an emergency they would go w/o me having to leash them up and perhaps drag them into the basement. They have always been afraid of the open basement stairs and I've just let them be afraid because I didn't want them on *those* stairs anyway.

Hubby remembered we have a 2nd set of stairs via a trap door in our enclosed back porch that are steep and narrow but NOT open that will get us into the basement. I went to McDonalds and grabbed a big old plain Angus bacon cheeseburger which we broke up into small pieces. Hubby cleared out the piles of whatever on top of that trap door for years, opened it, went down, turned the light on and we just let them get used to that door being open for awhile. Then I put their collars/leashes on and it took maybe 1 and 1/2 minutes of coaxing for Riley to carefully venture down there and once he was down it didn't take to long before Nissa got over her fear - her need to be near Riley kicks in quick, wink

We practiced on these steps for awhile and then tried the other ones and my furkids can now maneuver both sets (minus leash and collars) of stairs in case of an emergency smile

We'll practice this occasionally so that they won't even think twice about heading to the basement if need be. I do not want to have to worry about taking the time to put a collar/leash on my dogs if we have to hit the basement in a hurry. I will keep a spare set down there so that once we're there, I can keep them close to me w/o having to chase them down and so that if worse comes to worse they can't get out on their own and get lost in their panic or anything like that.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 11:56 AM

You need to make an area in your basement where you would be protected from flying or falling debris. If you have a nice sturdy table, slide that into a corner, if you have other sturdy pieces of furniture slide those over in that area also. For the big F5 type tornado that is going to rip your house away you want something to hold onto, because if that sucker hits you directly and takes any part of the floor above you it is going to want to suck you out of your hiding place. Since you have the outside storm entrance that is a place where the wind will be a problem. Flying debris even if you are on the edge of the tornado is a big problem. We had an F3 a few years ago near here, on the other edges a lot of damage was done by flying debris breaking windows.

I would also have 2 of the airline crates in the basement, in case I needed to put the dogs in there for a while.

Food and water for 3 days. DH and I were talking about this, I would get a couple of those Air Horns. That way if I heard some one looking for me I could give a blast or two. You should also have some blankets to cover yourself and the dogs up.

Make sure you have people know where your hiding place is.

No all of that is said, I have my place, I have water, no food, I think I should do some work.

I do have what I call my storm bag, has my purse, bank books, emergency cash. I always have a stash of emergency cash on hand. My friend was lived in New Orleans but left before Katerina, but she couldn't access any of her bank account info for months afterwards.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 11:59 AM

Radio Shack has a weather radio that is operated by a crank. Don't count on your dogs going to the basement on their own. Animals will instinctively run and hide. That may or may not be to you.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 12:40 PM

When I lived in IL, my first Doxy would always head for the basement way before any warnings or sirens, smart dog, the younger one not so attuned to the weather.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 12:45 PM

That's great Val! I wonder if the spot in the basement is left open for access and it's made their "safe" spot is that will teach them to go there. I think it's asking a lot of most dogs to expect them to head to the basement on their own though.
Posted by: LauraHolder

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 08:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger_Val
When I lived in IL, my first Doxy would always head for the basement way before any warnings or sirens, smart dog, the younger one not so attuned to the weather.


Fanny is super sensitive to changes in weather as well...we know when there is a storm coming b/c she'll want to get into the basement ASAP. smile
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 09:38 PM

We had a doberman who ran for the laundry room when a storm was near. You couldn't budge him from that room!
Posted by: Jane Jean

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 10:20 PM

Thanks for this thread, lots of great tips. The airhorn is a good idea.
Yesterday, just afert we returned from training, severe weather was headed our way. Even Karlo was anxious. All dogs followed me around panting for an hour before it hit. Very electrical and the storm intensified after it passed my location. Tornado's spawned just to the east with damage.
Kacie and Onyx will head to the bathroom on their own, before severe weather approaches. Yesterday it was odd, because Karlo is never storm fearful, but I could tell he had anxiety during this system.

Posted by: Liesje

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/30/11 10:40 PM

Luckily our basement is already the dogs' home base so they are comfortable down there.
Posted by: FurKids

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/31/11 04:55 AM

The back porch where this secondary basement door is, isn't open. It's inside an enclosed back porch so the tornado would have to take that first which I'm sure it could but we don't have to go outside to get at the "trap door" entrance. Basement is L shaped and where we would go (short end of the L) is away from windows. Glass would sure to be flying around so yeah, we do need to think more on that.

I absolutely HATE basements. They're almost as scary as being in a tornado being that I'm totally bug-o-phobic so having to spend more than a few minutes in our awful basement literally makes me queasy.

Do have two wire crates down there that haven't been used in years. I just kept them when we were done using them on a "just in case we need them" basis like for a stray we find or something.

What's "spare" cash? LOL! I didn't know anyone could afford to keep spare cash on hand anymore <g>

I like the air horns idea smile We put 4 gallons of water down there and will prolly add a few more of those.

Hubby is for the idea of doing this but he has it in his head we'd never be down there very long so it's a fight to get him to buy/put together to much stuff for down there. Once he gets something in his head it's near impossible to get it changed or out of his thick skull.

Going to pick up canned dog food.

Just had a thought - good time to test going to the basement is when the storm siren tests go off so they learn to associate the sirens sounding w/going to the basement smile
Posted by: Liesje

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/31/11 01:05 PM

Originally Posted By: FurKids


What's "spare" cash? LOL! I didn't know anyone could afford to keep spare cash on hand anymore


Haha, same here!

We did choose a small, local insurance agency though. We weren't really sure who to go with and a lot of quotes were similar, so someone recommended choosing a local one because if something major happens the huge companies will be totally swamped with claims. Not sure if that's true, but that's what we did. We also now use a local credit union rather than a large national bank.
Posted by: Vinnie

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/31/11 01:50 PM

Great topic for this time of year!

Dalton usually sticks right by my side during severe weather. I think heís trying to keep me safe rather than being sensitive to the noise. The other 2 just lay around like nothing is happening.

We canít hear the sirens in town when they go off. Thatís one of those things about living in the country. So my mother-in-law bought us a weather radio a few years ago. Itís always on this time of year. I would recommend one to everyone. This usually goes off with a loud alarm inside the house before they even announce anything on the TV or regular radio. The alerts come straight from the National Weather Service in our state. If it doesnít look bad outside, Iíll usually turn on the TV to catch the radar and see where the storm is at and what direction itís moving and how fast. Because my county is kind of long and odd shaped, sometimes the storms are south of us but hitting the same county causing the alarm to go off but wonít effect us at all.

Iíve never really had a ďplanĒ or anything. However, now that my dogs are older I will occasionally make the go down the basement stairs. We live in a very old house and our basement stairs are sturdy but have the open backs which the dogs donít like. (More of a problem going up than down) I just want to keep them use to these stairs so they donít get afraid and refuse the stairs in an emergency.

My biggest concern is the aging dogs. You can have everything else right and be prepared to the hilt but you just canít make old dogs move faster.

We have a wood burning stove that is in the center of the basement. This stove is incased by 3 solid brick walls. My safe spot is between the back brick wall and our cement basement wall. There are some cupboards on this wall that I keep blankets, pillows, bottled water, a few candles, lighter, fresh batteries and a battery powered radio in.
Posted by: Vinnie

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 05/31/11 01:54 PM

Forgot to add; I don't really worry about having spare cash with me. My bank is located in a different town (and has a few branches elsewhere) so chances are if I got hit - my bank wouldn't and if they all did, that's insured. AND I could borrow a few dollars from family until I could get money from the bank.
Posted by: Vinnie

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 06/02/11 04:02 PM

With all the crazy weather lately, I thought this would make a great weekly discussion topic.

What do you do?
What should you do?
What tips and advice can you share with others?
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 06/02/11 11:07 PM

Where I live, I worry more about flooding than anything else. I am woefully underprepared. My worst fear is actually feeding the boy, since he doesn't do well with processed food, and I don't know how we would do without refrigeration. I guess the refrigeration is a big problem in a number of disasters. I wonder how many of our dogs really don't do well on any processed food? I guess we would just have to make do.
Posted by: LifeAsMe

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 06/03/11 12:05 AM

Flooding here to but we would have to have a Noah's Arc flood to get our house. We don't really have major natural disaster here in NEPA. The worst that's ever happened is we lose power.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 06/03/11 12:56 AM

I may have jinxed things, just read this article about potential flooding in the west: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/02/residents-in-the-west-pre_n_870631.html

I think that our big worry is at the end of Spring...hard to imagine it's a risk now, in spite of what the article says.

I still need to get more prepared, at least have emergency papers together, etc. Suppose there's a remote possibility of earthquake for us too....

Tough to have an aging dog, 80+ pounds, in those situations.....
Posted by: Vinnie

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 04/03/12 10:11 AM

bump

Just wanted to bring this back up to the top as it's getting close to that time of year again. smile
Posted by: Tara

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 04/09/12 12:47 AM

Thanks for bumping this, Vinnie. I need to read up as we're entering our first tornado/storm season in Kansas.
Posted by: iBaman

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 04/09/12 12:56 AM

...What would you do in case of an earthquake? Do you keep them in the doorway/under the table with you? put them in their crate? Let them do their own thing?
Posted by: Schnickle Fritz

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 04/09/12 10:59 AM

ummm... you dont have advanced warning of an earthquake. if you are meaning after an earthquake i would guess i would keep them with me. make sure they are leashed and have thier tags on in case there are severe aftershocks. i wold not leave them in thier crates. how would they get out if the house were to crumble. i would want them to have some kind of a chance. i would however put them in thier crates in the car if is were outside. this being said i do not live in a city apt... i live in a house so i would go outside....
Posted by: Krystie

Re: Preparing for Severe Weather - 05/02/12 07:34 AM

Flooding is a Huge concern around here, if anyone remembers two years ago today all of middle TN went under water, 31 counties were considered National Disaster Zones, So my fear is the flood, we aren't exactly in what would normally be considered a flood zone but as we all found out two years ago all of us are in flood zones. in that case I have no clue what I would do with Bella....with Tornados....I don't have much of a plan either, I don't have a basement so I would go into our hallway which is the direct center of our house, or my walk in closet which is direct middle and no windows around it at all. I grew up in Tornado Alley so I'm used to the storms...I have spare food, batteries, flashlights, helps that my husband is military we have a ton of Tactical gear that would come in handy should disaster strike.
Posted by: rectina

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 11/10/12 01:44 AM

You need to make an area in your basement where you would be protected from flying or falling debris. If you have a nice sturdy table, slide that into a corner, if you have other sturdy pieces of furniture slide those over in that area also.
Posted by: Krissy

Re: preparing people and dogs for severe weather - 01/07/13 12:16 PM

In our area we just worry about the cold, the snow, hurricanes, and anything that hits Long Island. Typically we just keep the dogs warm in the winter in our house and cool in the summer... in our house. I think this year, since we just got Dex, it's going to be a little different than we're used to. I have a neighbor with a Golden Retriever (his best friend), so maybe he'll just visit there during the day if it gets too hot.