Just like the Scouts, Be Prepared

With all the talk about Hurricane Ike and with winter coming on, I start to think about being prepared for whatever. We have been told for years to have an emergency kit for our families but there really hasn’t been much talk about preparing for an emergency with our horses. Our son and his family were living in San Diego last October during their wild fires. They had to literally run for their lives because the fire had come up the canyon and was overtaking their apartment complex. The fire storm blew over them while they were evacuating on the interstate and caught a car in front of then on fire. Pretty scary stuff. Because of my concern for them, I kept watching their local news online and reading local blogs to check were the fires were and where the evacuation centers were located. On one of our visits down to see them, we visited a handicap riding program that was in the line of the fire so I was keeping track of them also. It was very interesting to read about what all those people did to keep their horses safe – this time. There had been another wild fire in 2003 that burned and killed a lot of horses and because of that experience the area worked at finding ways to avoid letting that happen again. Because of that planning, very few horses were even injured this time. Even the Wild Animal Park – that was directly in the line of the worst and fastest fire – escaped serious damage because of good planning. We got to visit the park this spring and saw how devastating that fire was to the park and the homes and the whole area. I had a horse friend that went thru the horrible hurricanes in Florida several years ago – I don’t remember the name – and I really learned a lot about ‘disaster thinking’. One of their big concerns was identification. That was a big issue after Katrina also. She talked about braiding luggage tags into her horse’s manes or tails or shaving a phone number on to them or painting a phone number onto their hooves. Papers are necessary to prove ownership but since our horses can’t tell us their home phone numbers, this would be important also. I always say that a dog tag on my dogs is their phone call home. So now back to the point of this note. Here is a link to a really complete guide to emergency planning for our pets. I saw it on Horse.com. Hopefully, none of us will ever need any of this but I want to be prepared so I can keep my boys safe and well. I know that the county has done some emergency preparedness planning for our pets. There are several areas in the county designated as evacuation centers. I will write more about that at a later time. Stay tuned ...... And Blessings to you all, Jody

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