Archive for the ‘Preparedness Challenge’ Category

For a few months now, I’ve been participating in the Preparedness Challenge. For my birthday, my mom and dad gave me a weather radio at the suggestion of my sister.  It’s wonderful!

The weather radio set and ready to receive alerts:
advisories, watches, and warnings.

My sister has a weather radio, and has called me when there have been some serious and dangerous weather headed towards the farm.

Most recently, she called as a tornado was spotted about ten miles from here. None of the outdoor sirens worked that day in the county/town, so unless you had a weather radio you  would not have known that the tornado was headed for the town. (It was a beautiful, sunny day – not at all typical of tornado weather).

The weather radio is a plug-in model with a battery back-up. In addition to being able to listen to the current conditions for one’s area, the weather radio can be programmed with up to nine different counties.

I programmed seven of the counties to the northwest, west, and southwest since this is the direction from which the storms would come.

To listen to weather conditions at any time,
the “weather” button is pressed once.

So far, the weather radio has alerted us about severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and windstorms in excess of 80 mph (enough to topple a tree). No tornado yet…but I’m quite content not seeing and hearing that alert on the weather radio!


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Many years ago we planted catnip in the garden.  This year, we have an abundance of it so we have been giving the cats fresh, organic catnip (which they enjoy) and drying it.  Sophia also has been hand-embroidering catnip toys for one of her 4-H projects. 

Making your own catnip toys is a great way to be resourceful by using leftover felt scraps as well as use extra catnip.  It also is keeps cats healthy and active since they run and play with the toys.  Healthy cats mean less trips to the veterinarian…another cost savings!

Here’s how to make homemade catnip toys:


Olivia Picking Catnip
Olivia picking some catnip early in the season.
The catnip plant is now at least 1.5′ tall.

From one small plant purchased at a garden center many years ago, this has paid for itself many times over.  Each year, the plant comes up and does well on its own. 

This year, there were two other catnip plants that came up in different areas of the garden, so we transplanted them.  Initially, they were wilted and didn’t look like they would make it.  Within a week, they were doing quite well.

Sometimes we pick the leaves off, and other times (if the catnip has grown a lot), we will cut it back by taking down the several inches of leaves and stems. 


Drying Catnip
Sophia placing the catnip leaves
on a dehydrator tray.

We have a basic five-tray dehydrator that we use to dry catnip.  Simply place the the leave around each tray in a single layer and with a bit of room around each leaf. Catnip dries quickly – usually in less than a day.

Wanting the Catnip
Lucy taking a dried catnip leaf
before it can be used in a toy.

Remove the dried leaves and place in an air-tight container.  Make sure the leaves are completely dry or else they won’t last.  Keep them whole at this point. Don’t crush them.


There are free patterns on the internet that you can use to make cat toys.  Sophia used the bird pattern HERE. She also used a children’s craft book that has patterns in it for small toys. 

Rather than purchasing anything new, she used scraps of felt that were on hand.  Felted wool sweaters also work well for cat toys.

Follow the directions for making the toy, making sure to leave a small opening for the catnip and stuffing.

Placing crushed catnip leaves
into the toy.
Crush a few catnip leaves, and then place them into the toy. 
Add some wool stuffing, and then finish stitching the cat toy.
Light Gray Mouse - Bring Stories and Rhymes Alive, Nature Table Accessory, or Play Toy
Cat toy in the shape of a mouse.

Wool Felt Cat Toys
Cat toys made from a felted wool sweater
and ribbon.


The cats were around Sophia while she made the toys for them.  Needles to say, when she was done and they had a chance to play with the toys, they were so happy. 

Playing with a Catnip Toy
Sophia showing the cats the embroidered
catnip bird she made for them.
They batted the toys around, picked them up and carried them, and tossed them in the air. They were entertained with the toys and we were entertained watching them.

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During the past few weeks there have been some rather severe storms – complete with thunder, lightening, hail, and tornadoes.  Most recently, the high heat (over 100 degrees) knocked out power to over 8,000 homes in the metro area. 

Most people have flashlights and candles, and perhaps a battery-operated radio on hand.  These are all great items to have when the power goes out unexpectedly.  In addition, there are five good things to have ready when the electricity goes out:

1. Food that can be prepared without electricity.

I created three bins that contain food for three days in the event that the electricity goes off and the refrigerator, stove, and oven cannot be used.  Some of the food requires no preparation (e.g., crackers, fruit) while others need the camp stove to make.

Three days’ worth of food that doesn’t
take electricity to make.
It’s a good idea to purchase perishable food in containers small enough that your family can consume the food in one sitting since refrigeration would not be available (unless, of course, your power goes out during the middle of winter in Minnesota where temperatures do get below freezing).
If you haven’t had a use for the food after six months, take a look at the expiration dates and eat the food before the expiration date passes.  Make sure to replenish the food so that the bins are ready to use in case of an emergency.
2. Water for All Family Members, Pets, and Livestock
Last month, when the electricity went off due to a person driving into the electric pole at the end of the road and cutting off power to all the homes along the road, we were without power for over ten hours.  At that time, we had no extra water on hand – just the Britta water pitcher that was half full.  Needless to say, those ten hours were a bit challenging.
A small start towards the amount of water needed
during an electricity outage.
It’s recommended that you have 1 gallon of water per person per day (2 quarts for drinking and 2 for food preparation/sanitation).  Since we also have pets and horses, it’s important to have water for them as well. 

Remember to put water in containers that are easy to carry. One gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. A 5-gallon container weighs 40 pounds.

3. A Temporary Toilet or Water for an Existing Toilet

If you have a lot of extra water on hand, you can simply use the toilets in your home by pouring a bucket of water directly into the toilet bowl and flushing. The contents will swirl away. You need to manually fill the tank if you want more water in the toilet bowl.

If your water is in short supply, it’s best to use what you have in gallon containers for personal consumption and cooking.  So, then you have a couple of options:  you can either use a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat on top or get a portable toilet that’s designed for camping use. 

Portable toilet with bags (upper left and center).
Solar shower (upper right).

4. Solar Shower

In the picture above, there’s a picture of a solar shower.  This is an easy-to-find item at this time of the year since they’re sold with the camping supplies.  Solar showers can be used in the summer when the sun heats the black bag holding the water. 

If the power unexpectedly stops in the winter, use a large storage bin and fill 2 containers with water: one hot and one cold. Put the hot one in first and then add the cold until it is a comfortable temperature. Take a bath in the warmest part of the house. Go from the cleanest person to the dirtiest. Have soap, washcloths, towels, and clean clothes nearby.

If you have a use for solar shower besides when the power goes out, check out this DIY outdoor shower from Off the Urban Grid.

Outdoor Shower.

5. Camp Stove and Fuel

If the power is out for a prolonged period of time, most likely you’ll need to cook a meal.  Having a camp stove and fuel on hand is a way to make food that would give you energy that you’ll need…especially if you’re doing hard work (e.g., clean up after a major storm or tornado). 

Coleman camp stove that uses either
liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline.

It’s a good idea to get comfortable with using the stove prior to needing to use it.  If you have children, having an outdoor dinner or camping in the backyard not only is fun, but it can help prepare your family when the power does go off.

The camp stove pictured above is the one that I have.  What I like about it is that it can use either liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline (most camp stove use liquid fuel only).  At this point, unleaded gasoline is less expensive than liquid fuel, so that is a less expensive way to cook.  Also, in the event of an emergency and if no liquid fuel is readily available, simply going to the gas station and filling up a container of gasoline is easy to do.

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This past Sunday, there was a tornado that went through an area about 40 minutes from here.  This same tornado made its way northeast and touched down less than 10 minutes from here. 

Funnel cloud about ten minutes from home.
Photo from MnDOT.

None of the warning sirens went off locally until the tornado touched down and had passed further north.  Had it not been for my sister who has a weather radio, we would not have been aware of the tornado – it was a clear, sunny day at that point. 

It made me realize the importance of having a weather radio.  This article from Minneapolis Public Radio talks about the siren failure and how important it is to have a weather radio – just like it is to have smoke detectors.  Both are of equal importance.  This will be something on my list to purchase in June.

Despite seeing a tornado from one of the upstairs windows, the speed at which we were able to get downstairs and outside (we have an old cellar door that we have to go through to get to the basement – kind of like in the Wizard of Oz), was rather embarrassing.  Most likely, we would be trapped, injured, or dead if the tornado continued on its path and we were inside the house.

Clouds a bit northwest of here
after the tornado passed through.

Nearly 3/4 of all tornadoes in Minnesota occur during the months of May (15%), June (37%), and July (25%).  This article has some interesting information about tornadoes in Minnesota, including some memorable ones (like the 2008 one that also was very close to here and damaged many homes).

Sophia and Olivia putting together “Go-Bags.”

So, making “Go-Bags” or bags that are already packed and ready to take for use in an emegency (like a tornado), became top priority this week. This past week, my daughters and I created “Go-Bags” or bags that can be used in an emergency.  We put into each backpack or bag so far:

– flashlight with batteries
– whistle
– pocket knife (adult only; not for child)
– change of clothes (top, pants, underwear, socks)
– notepad
– pen and pencil
– tape (masking and duct) – (adult only; not for child)
– medication
– small first aid kit (adult has full kit; each person has bandaids)
– small sewing kit (adult only)
– small books and games
– hand towel
– spoons, forks, and knives (two sets)
– paper plates (6 small)
– two heavy-duty trash bags
– one kitchen-size trash bag
– water purification tablets
– comb
– lip balm
– soap
– washcloth
– shampoo and conditioner
– toilet paper

We still need to put into each bag:
– small package of wet wipes
– toothpaste
– toothbrushes
– dust masks
– rain gear
– water bottles
– snack food
– hard candy and gum
– map
– permanenet markers
– photos of family members
– emergency contact numbers and names
– identification
– list of allergies
– copy of health insurance card
– extra keys (house and car)
– mylar blanket
– sunscreen
– sanitary supplies
– hand warmers (for cold weather)
– matches and/or butane lighter
– cash
– cell phone
– spare eyeglasses
– insect repellent (for warm weather)
– spare shoelaces

The list I was going off of also recommended some other items in the event of an evacuation, but these wouldn’t be kept in a backpack:

– tent
– sleeping bags
– radio (hand-cranked or battery-operated with batteries)
– water jugs (for water purification)

In the process of putting together the “Go-Bags,” the girls and I cleaned the medicine cabinet and grouped items together (e.g., first aid items, soap, shampoo).  I gathered all the expired prescription medications together and will find a place to recycle them this week.  Also threw away all over-the-counter medicine that was no longer good. 

Medicine cabinet after getting rid of expired medications.
Now I can supplement it with necessary items
to create a good first aid kit and have needed items on hand.

Having these items organized will make the next things we work on much easier (e.g., first aid kits).  It also is easier to see now what we have on hand and what is needed for minor and serious injuries or emergencies.

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Last year was the first year that I planted a vegetable garden with the girls. For the prior few years, I did not do much gardening.  This year, with the price of food rising so much, the girls and I expanded the garden; and did some much-needed maintenance on areas around and in the garden.


Since I do not use any chemicals in the garden, lawn, or pastures, one of the perennial challenges is weeds.  There are four raised beds that were built back in the late 1990s when I offered a farm and art camp for children.  The wood was untreated (so no chemicals would contaminate the food), and has (unfortunately) reached the end of its life on several of the beds. 

As we weeded, we removed wood planks and pieces that no longer served a function.

Sophia and Olivia weeding one raised bed
in the vegetable garden.

There were two areas that we planted last year that needed the weeds pulled from this year.  The other two raised beds and cold frame were overgrown with wild black raspberries and needed to be cut back first before weeding could be done.

Raspberries trimmed back.
To better contain the raspberries and keep them upright, we’re going to put 4-6 stakes around the perimeter of the raspberry garden and tie twine around the stakes.  The area on all sides of the raspberry garden has a base of newspaper or cardboard and is topped with grass and straw. 


A book that I checked out from the library showed a way to create new garden space that would minimize (if not eliminate) weeding in the first – and hopefully subsequent – years.  During the first year, you put cardboard and/or newspapers down where you want your new garden.

Cardboard placed where we want new garden areas.
Rocks are holding the cardboard down.

Then, place bags of garden soil on top of the cardboard.  These will what the plants grow in during the first year.  Keep in mind that the bags are rather shallow, so root vegetables (e.g., beets, carrots, leeks) are not suitable for this type of gardening.  Instead, plant vegetables (such as beans) or herbs in them.

Bags of soil on top of cardboard. 
Newspapers topped with grass clippings for pathways.

After the first year of planting and harvesting, any remaining cardboard, newspaper, and the bags are discarded.  The soil that was in the bag is tilled into the ground which will be free from all grass and weeds since no light or water reached it during the first growing season.

Sophia hauling Olivia and grass clippings
to the garden for pathways. 
Montague is going along for the walk.

Since moving here in 1995, the trees have grown quite a bit.  The area next to the driveway (where the garden is located) use to be very sunny for the majority of the day.  Now, parts are shady so the girls and I shifted the garden a bit to the south.  The shadier area will be covered with straw and we will bring chairs out to enjoy the garden and/or perhaps read a book under the trees.

Olivia pruning a tree by the strawberries.

Also, we cut back some of the lower branches on the trees for ease of access to the garden as well as to reduce the amount of shade in the garden.


For the new areas in the garden, the next step was to cut open the tops of the bags.  It’s important to leave the sides on the bags so that the dirt doesn’t wash away (kind of like a miniature raised bed). 

Bags of soil cut open and ready for planting.
These were placed directly on the ground
versus placing them on cardboard. 
We will see if there’s a difference between
the gardens with and without cardboard as a base.


Depending on the item that is being grown, we planted vegetables and fruits from transplants or seeds.  Some of the transplants were purchased (e.g., cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli) while others were simply dug up and relocated to other parts of the garden (e.g., catnip, strawberries).

Olivia planting beans. 
She already completed 2 1/2 rows of onions.

This year, the herbs are in three locations.  The catnip came up again in a shady area in the garden and is thriving.  There was some stray catnip that was hiding under the rhubarb leaves and also faring well, so I transplanted that to be near the other catnip.

The second section of herbs is this one:

Herb garden.

The above garden has sage, lavender, majoram, thyme, parsley, chives, cilantro, and dill.  The third spot where herbs are planted is in the “pizza garden.”  These herbs are ones we use to make pizza: basil, rosemary, and oregano.

Many years ago, a friend taught me how to build a cold frame.  At the time, I had a window that was attached to the box that could be lifted and propped up in warmer weather, and kept down in colder weather.  It was a great way to start plants. 

There is now a gap in one corner of the cold frame.  However, I still wanted to use the space since the base is a mix of soil and compost that has aged for many years.  The cold frame is in a shadier area, so I thought lettuce would be good to grow here.

Weeded cold frame planted with lettuce seeds.
We like green and yellow (wax) beans, so we used all five bags for beans.  In addition, a couple rows of beans are planted near the onions in the new raised bed receiving the most sun as well as two rows in a shadier area. 
Because I homeschool the girls, I want them to see how well different vegetables grow in different parts of the garden (e.g., do beans need full sunlight all day, is partial sunlight okay, do the beans grow better in the bags of soil or directly in the ground).
Sophia planting several types of green and yellow (wax) beans
in the bags of soil.
We’ve been planting a “pizza garden” for a few years now.  It’s nice to be able to go to the garden and pick fresh vegetables and herbs and make pizza for dinner.  In the fall, I roast the tomatoes and then make a pizza sauce filled with other vegetables and herbs.  It’s a flavorful sauce that tastes great in the middle of winter.
It’s a bit difficult to see, but there are several types of tomatoes planted (yellow and red; full size, roma, and cherry), sweet peppers (green, yellow, red, and orange), leeks, and herbs.  Since this raised bed receives many hours of sunlight per day, we expanded the size of this bed on both ends. 
The “pizza garden” is planted with a variety
of vegetables and herbs.
The rhubarb and strawberry garden was overtaken by raspberries (red and wild black) as well as weeds.  After cutting back the raspberries, I weeded the garden and found that there were quite a few strawberries despite the “intruders.” 
In addition, the strawberries had sent out runners and new plants were growing around the raised bed.  So, once this area was weeded, I dug up all the plants that weren’t in the garden and transplanted them there.
I would like to have another rhubarb plant since rhubarb is so expensive in the store…especially when it’s not in season.
Rhubarb and strawberry plants.

Sophia wanted to grow peas this year since she’s never done that before.  We went to the farmer’s market earlier this week, and one of the farmers was selling peas to transplant. 
Sophia planting snow and shell peas.
Other vegetables that we planted but aren’t pictured or mentioned:  asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions (red and yellow bulb as well as green onions), and zucchini.
Next project:  the flower gardens – including edible flowers for salads. The girls are ready to plant some new flowers this year from bulbs as well as transplants. 
The girls were having fun while hauling grass clippings
to the gardens to make pathways.

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With the tornado and thunderstorm season right around the corner, I wanted to be a bit more prepared this year. Homestead Revival is hosting a weekly Preparedness Challenge.  During Week 3, I ordered some books from the library about planning ahead and self-sufficiency. 

One of the books that I read and was very impressed with is called Just in Case – How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison.  The book is packed with so many helpful tips and ideas for any individual or family to apply to their life/lives. 

One of the first ideas she presents is to assess your home’s safety.  There are only a few questions, but they are ones that are so important to take the time to answer.

The other idea that I thought is a good one is creating a Preparedness Notebook.  Below are the key points that the author makes in the book.

My goal is to get the Preparedness Notebook done this weekend; and determine if there are any improvements that need to be made to the home to make it safer. 

To make your own card catalog cards, go HERE.

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The Homestead Revival is having an interesting weekly blog hop called the Preparedness Challenge.  With the recent disaster in Japan, it is a timely challenge to think about what would happen if a natural disaster happened in your own area.

After a major disaster, the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones, may be unavailable. Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days.

Spring in Minnesota marks the start of tornado season.  During the past couple of years, there have been some major storms and tornadoes that we’ve been through or to which we’ve been very close. 

Olivia Montague and Cats in Basement During Hail Storm and Nearby Tornado
In the basement during the 2008 tornado.
The house had some damage and needed a new roof and siding.
About 10 minutes south of here, over 50 homes were destroyed
and a child died…many more people were injured.

So, this week, for the Preparedness Challenge, I looked at last week’s participants and one of them, Falling Like Rain, had a list of items for an emergency kit.  I thought this would be a good starting point and give me something to assemble over the next month. 

I’ve modified it to fit our needs, and marked the items with an * for what I already have on hand. Although I may have some of the items on the list (e.g., food, first aid kit) they aren’t yet set aside specifically for the emergency kit, so until that is done, I won’t mark the item on the list with a *.

At-Home Emergency Kit

A large, watertight container to hold everything (it’s recommended to store the kit in an easily accessible location. One idea was to put everything in a large, plastic garbage can with a lid and wheels so it can be moved easily)

Canned fruit* (canned peaches and pears in jars from Summer 2010)
Peanut Butter
Jam* (homemade jam in jars)
Low-salt crackers
Canned soup
Canned meat
Canned juice
Non-fat dried milk
Dried Fruit
Hard Candy
Allergy medicine
Copies of important documents
Paper plates
Disposable cups
Disposable silverware
Napkins/Paper Towels
Toilet Paper
First Aid Kit (see section below for more information about contents in a First Aid Kit)
Sun Screen
Manual Can Opener
Clothes and Rain Gear for each person
Heavy Work Gloves
Disposable camera (for recording damage)
Unscented liquid household bleach
Hand Sanitizer
Feminine Hygiene Products
Plastic Sheeting
Duct Tape
Utility Knife
Sleeping Bags
Heavy Duty Plastic Bags
Plastic Bucket
Bungee Cords
Battery Operated Radio/Batteries
Phone that plugs directly into the outlet (not cordless)
Dust Masks
Permanent marker, paper and tape (to leave a note if you decide to evacuate)
Wet Wipes
Disinfectant (spray, wipes)
Items for pets and horses/livestock (see section below for information about pets)

Notes regarding food: 

– Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package.

– Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least 2 years. Use dry products, like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk or dried fruit within six months.

– After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within 4 hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for 2 days.

Go-Bags (one per person)

Backpack to hold it all
Flashlight and Glo-Stick/Batteries
Dust Masks
Pocket Knife
Change of clothes/hat/rain gear
Local Map
Water/Food (see above)
Permanent marker, paper, tape
Photos of family members (in case you are separated)
Lists – emergency point of contact numbers
Identification and list of any allergies
Copy of health insurance cards
Small First Aid Kit
Small Sewing Kit
Toothbrush and Paste
Extra Keys (house, car)
Small books, games or puzzles
Hand towel
Wet Wipes
Mylar Blanket
Sun Screen
Camping Utensils (spoon, fork, knife)

This week for the Preparedness Challenge, I also read about water.  There have been many times over the years when we have been without water – due to the electricity being out (after a storm) or the time that my brother and I accidently hit the water line when trying to install a water line from the outdoor well to the barn. 

Going without water for a week was a huge challenge, but thankfully a neighbor was gracious enough to allow me to get containers of water and take a shower as needed. 

Sophia Drinking Tap Water
Sophia drinking water from a disposable cup.

Here’s some information about water that I thought is important.  It’s from the 72 Hours website.

In a disaster, water supplies may be cut off or contaminated. Store enough water for everyone in your family to last for at least 3 days.

Store one gallon of water per person, per day. Three gallons per person per day will give you enough to drink and for limited cooking and personal hygiene. Remember to plan for pets (and horses/livestock, in our case).

If you store tap water:

Tap water from a municipal water system can be safely stored without additional treatment.

Store water in food grade plastic containers, such as clean 2-liter soft drink bottles. Heavy duty, reusable plastic water containers are also available at sporting goods stores. Empty milk bottles are not recommended because their lids do not seal well and bottles may develop leaks.

Label and store in a cool, dark place.

Replace water at least once every six months.

If you buy commercially bottled “spring” or “drinking” water:

Keep water in its original container, and don’t re-store a bottle once it’s been opened.

Store in a cool, dark place.

If bottles are not marked with the manufacturer’s expiration date, label with the date and replace bottles at least once per year.

Treating Water after Disaster:

If you run out of stored drinking water, strain and treat water from your water heater or the toilet reservoir tank (except if you use toilet tank cleaners). Swimming pool or spa water should not be consumed but you can use it for flushing toilets or washing.

Treatment Process:

Strain any large particles of dirt by pouring the water through layers of paper towels or clean cloth. Next, purify the water one of two ways:

Boil – bring to a rolling boil and maintain for 3-5 minutes. After the water cools, pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add oxygen back; this will improve its taste.

Disinfect – If the water is clear, add 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water. If it is cloudy, add 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per gallon. Make sure you are using regular bleach— 5.25% percent sodium hypochlorite— rather than the “ultra” or “color safe” bleaches. Shake or stir, then let stand 30 minutes. A slight chlorine taste and smell is normal.

Items for a First Aid Kit

Two pairs of disposable gloves
Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect
Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection
Burn ointment
Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
Over-the-counter medicines such as Aspirin or other pain reliever, laxative, anti-diarrhea medication
Prescription medications you take every day or frequently (e.g., asthma inhaler)
Prescribed medical supplies (e.g., nebulizer with albuterol sulfate).  Need to figure out how to use this when there’s no electricity since the nebulizer relies on electricity.

Plan for Pets in an Emergency Disaster

These ideas are from the 72 Hours website as well:

Keep a collar, current license, and up-to date ID tags on your pet at all times. Consider having your pet micro-chipped (both the dogs are micro-chipped, but the cats are not at this time).

Make sure your pet is comfortable being in a crate, box, cage, or carrier for transport.

Keep an updated list of trusted neighbors who could assist your animals in case of an emergency.

Make a Go-bag for each pet. Include:

Sturdy leashes and pet carriers. A pillowcase is a good option for transporting cats and other small animals (though each of the cats has her/his own transportation bin, in our case). Muzzles for dogs. Food, potable water, and medicine for at least one week.

Non-spill bowls, manual can opener, and plastic lid

Plastic bags, litter box, and litter

Recent photo of each pet

Names and phone numbers of your emergency contact, emergency veterinary hospitals, and animal shelters

Copy of your pet’s vaccination history and any medical problems

Portable fencing or baby gates

Remember that animals react differently under stress. Keep dogs securely leashed and transport cats in carriers or pillowcases.

If your pet is lost, contact the nearest animal shelter to report your pet missing. When it is safe, return to your neighborhood to search and distribute “Lost Pet” posters; include a current picture of your pet.

In the case of livestock/horses, it’s important to have enough feed and/or alfalfa on hand.  Extra bedding (straw or wood chips) should be stored in your barn. 

With regards to water, after experiencing multiple power outages and no water for extended periods of time, I have always kept the stocktanks, heated water buckets, or waterers full.  Especially if I hear about a major storm approaching, I make sure all the tanks are full. In that way, there is a good supply of water right on hand.

Having one Go-Bag per livestock species would be sufficient (e.g., a pack for horses, sheep, chickens). 

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