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9,025 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
... Begins June 1.

Anyone with any questions or past experiences to share of going through such an emergency with a SD?

Do you work or volunteer for an emergency organization and have info to help a SD team?

Some info to begin:
„ National Weather Service: NOAA National Weather Service
„ National Hurricane Center: National Hurricane Center

„ NHC Facebook Page:
„ CPHC/ NWS Honolulu Facebook Page:

„ Atlantic: @NHC_Atlantic
„ Eastern North Pacific: @NHC_Pacific
„ Central Pacific: @NWSHonolulu
„ Storm Surge: @NHC_Surge

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Revised April 2013

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards
The National Weather Service (NWS) continuously broadcasts warning,
watches, forecasts and non-weather related hazard information on
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR). The average range of the
1000+ NWR transmitters is 40 miles, depending on topography. For the best
performing NWR receivers, NWS suggests you look at devices certified to
Public Alert™ standards.

These radios meet specific technical standards and come with many features
such as Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME), a battery backup, both
audio and visual alarms, selective programming for the types of hazards you
want to be warned for, and the ability to activate external alarm devices for
people with disabilities. Similar to a smoke detector, an NWR can wake you up
in the middle of the night to alert you of a dangerous situation.

1,661 Posts
I don't have an SD, but I give "talks" in my area about how to prepare yourself and your animals for Hurricane season and other emergencies and what to do before, during, and after. Not sure if that helps much. I have various documents I can upload.

9,025 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
... I have various documents I can upload.
If you have info for your Region, State, County that would be wonderful. I have quite a bit myself for my State and area from classes, workshops, presentations. Of course a lot is good for all areas but sometimes each area has it's own extra problems to toss into the mix. And if more than one person happens to give the same info I feel it is all to the good.

In your info do you happen to have anything on your area Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelters? Even though it doesn't effect SDs, SD handlers in large part also have pets, ESAs or SDITs that they need to keep safe also.

9,025 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
As to Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelters (needed for Companion Pets, Therapy Animals, Emotional Support Animals, Assistance/Service Dogs In Training, Retired Assistance/Service Dogs):
Most counties have their own policies in place but I love to share what others are doing and also what we have in place as it may help others.

For those who may see the term Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelter and wonder what they are. Some places also call them Pet-Friendly Shelters or Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelters but we found out that the name sometimes confused people and we were receiving phone calls for stray or owner-turn ins.

1,661 Posts
If you have info for your Region, State, County that would be wonderful. I have quite a bit myself for my State and area from classes, workshops, presentations. Of course a lot is good for all areas but sometimes each area has it's own extra problems to toss into the mix. And if more than one person happens to give the same info I feel it is all to the good.

In your info do you happen to have anything on your area Pet-Friendly Evacuation Shelters? Even though it doesn't effect SDs, SD handlers in large part also have pets, ESAs or SDITs that they need to keep safe also.
Actually yeah. I don't know if there's anyone here in my area on the board that has a SD, but, as a national thing, you can text SHELTER + Zip Code to 43362 and you can find out where the shelters are in your region.

The last few years, St. Mary's Co. Fairgrounds has been the go-to for pets. You go to your shelter and they shuttle your animal(s) outside of service animals to the Fairgrounds. Vets and Vet Techs from all across the county go there and take care of the animals. I know around here, you can pretty much just say "service dog" and no matter what type of service dog it is, they get to stay with you.

Here is the handout I gave out at my last talk: (Sorry for length)

Contents of my 24 Hour Bug out Kit:
Socks: 3 pairs
Shoes: 3 Pairs (Two Tennis, One Steel Toe)
Undergarments: 3 pairs
Shirts: 3
Pants: 3
Hats: 2
Sweatshirt: 2
Gloves: 2

Food & Water:
Protein Bars: Min: 7. Optimum: 12
6 Aquafina Bottles
3 Britta Bottles w/ 6 extra filters
Granola Bars: Min: 7. Optimum: 12
Beef Jerky: Min: 4 packs. Optimum: 8
Gummy Bears: 1lb
Fruit Roll-Ups: Min: 4. Optimum: 10
Dried Fruit: 1lb
Gatorade Powder: 2 jars/5 boxes of packets.
Mt. Dew: 2, 20oz bottles.
*FOLLOW 8x8 RULE AT ALL TIMES! Increase to 10x10 for increased exercise and shoot for 12x12 in extreme heat.*

Benadryl: 1 bottle. (Exp: 11/14)
Prilosec: 1 box/30 pills (Exp: 10/14)
Epi Pen: 2 pens. (Exp: 04/14)
Pain Reliever: 1 bottle. (Exp: 01/15)
Imodium AD: 1 box/30 tablets. (Exp: 02/15)
Anti-Nausea: 1 bottle. (Exp: 04/15)
First Aid Kit
Sanitary Napkins/Tampons: 15 pads/30 tampons/10 knitted squares
Sun Screen: 1 Bottle.
Bug Spray: 1 Bottle.

One Flash Drive containing:
Birth Certificate (Family)
Photo Identification (Family)
Photo Identification (Animals)
Social Security Card (Family)
Car Title w/ VIN #
Emergency Contacts (Family)
Medical Power of Attorney (Family)
Rental Contract/Renter’s Insurance information
Animal Emergency Contacts/Vet Information
Animal Vaccination Records

Extra Batteries
Emergency Rope
Waterproof Matches
Road Flares

Discuss basic first aid for animals and humans.

How to get children of all ages on board with prepping.

How to explain prepping and emergencies to children.

Ideas on what to save/how to save.

Must drink no less than 1 quart (4 cups) of water per day.

How to distill water:

While boiling and chlorination will kill most microbes in water, distillation will remove microbes (germs) that resist these methods, as well as heavy metals, salts and most other chemicals. Distillation involves boiling water and then collection of only the vapor that condenses. The condensed vapor will not include salt or most other impurities. To distill, fill a pot halfway with water.
Tie a cup to the handle on the pot’s lid so that the cup will hang right-side-up when the lid is upside-down (make sure the cup is not dangling into the water) and boil the water for 20 minutes. The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled.

Nursing Mothers should add an extra 4- 8oz servings of water, or whatever you put out, put back in. Dehydration can decrease milk production.

Keep your favorite foods on hand! If you are stuck in your home, or stuck in a shelter, sometimes having a favorite candy bar or favorite drink will go a long way in helping you or your children to feel better. Stress can also cause medical problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, heart burn, and more. Make sure your kit has lots of fun stuff for your children. If you get stuck in a shelter, there may not be anything for your children to do, so you need to find a way to keep them entertained. At the same time, if you are evacuated to another location, you could be in a vehicle for several hours and you want to make sure your children have something to do to keep them quiet; your fellow riders will thank you!

Shelter in Place v. Shelter out of Home.

The way we prepare for sheltering in place:

Close off rooms that have doors when they are not in use. It keeps the occupants of the home in locations where you can find them if need be, especially your animals. If a cop comes to your home to evacuate you, you may have less than 10 minutes to gather up everyone and everything you need.

Have EP Kits in every room of the house: If you are experiencing a flooding condition, it’s the low lying portions of your house that can be impacted. If all of your food, water, and other stashes are in your basement, they can very easily be ruined by incoming flood waters.

Try to keep to a normal schedule or as normal of a schedule as possible. Obviously, some things may need to change, but keeping to as normal of a schedule as possible will allow for getting back into a normal swing of things when things go back to normal. This is especially important if you are in a location that has curfews because of rampant looting or just because there’s no electricity or no way around. Curfews can sometimes be late into the evening, say around 10 or 11pm, but generally you would be expected to be inside of a shelter by dusk. This means that, you need to have any of your traveling to a new, safer location inside the disaster zone, or going to grocery stores (if they are open), or Red Cross/Salvation Army food and water sites to collect food and water, need to be done by 7 or 8pm in the summers, but as early as 4 or 5pm in the winter months.
Curfews are very strictly enforced. They can be enforced by the local PD, State PD, or even up to the military. There is absolutely no reason to break curfew outside of a medical emergency, but even then, you’d have to sweet talk your way out of it.

Let people know that you are staying home and keep in contact with someone outside of the affected area. During the hurricane, I was in constant contact with my mother, who was in no risk of being affected by the hurricane. She either got a phone call, text message, or e-mail every few hours. I also gave her the contact information for the local police, fire, and ems departments so that, if I was out of contact for too long, she could contact someone to come and find us.

Know where everything is. I can tell you the location of each person’s EP Kit, the animals’ EP Kits, our Bug out Box (contains originals of all scanned documents, paperwork, and photos we can’t live without along with things that are just important for us.) The problem with sheltering in place is that, at any moment, you may be asked to leave and you just won’t have enough time to gather everyone and everything up. You could end up leaving some very important things behind

Stay together, keep everything together. It’s not a good idea to separate if you don’t have to. The first 5 days of an emergency are the most hectic. At any point in time during that stretch, you could be asked to evacuate. The further out from the end of the event (earthquake, hurricane, tornado, etc.…) the less likely you might be asked to leave. Evacuations can be done prior to a known event like a hurricane, or a general announcement of ‘you need to get out’ once the emergency has started. After the emergency has ended, first responders will go out into the area to check things out. At that time, secondary evacuations will begin.
If you evac in your own vehicle, you will be able to take more things with you than if you are being taken in by another vehicle. We kept our vehicle packed with our 10-Day kits and worst case scenario; one person could drive our vehicle with the animals while the other two could go in an emergency vehicle. Also, if someone had to go more than 5 minutes away, we all went together, even going to the extent of loading up the animals as well.

Plan, Plan, Plan! This is not something that can be done on a spur of the moment. We started getting our evacuation plan together several weeks prior to the hurricane hitting. We knew where each evacuation shelter was located, which ones took animals and which ones didn’t, the top three routes to get to them, and the closest animal shelter that was willing to take our animals at a moment’s notice. We kept the Map Quested directions in the glove box of the car as well as each EP Kit had a set.


Sheltering Away from home:
To find a shelter near you, text SHELTER + Zip Code to 43362

Take as much stuff as you can in as few bags as you can. In a shelter, it is very unlikely that you will have more space than the size of a King sized bed, if not just a bit more. In some locations, due to it being crowded, a family unit may only have access to two, maybe three army cots, even if there are more than three family members. Depending on the shelter, they may be access to thick, wool blankets and pillows, but this is not always the case. I would recommend taking pillows and a good, heavy duty sleeping bag for each person.
The best case scenario would be to have an air mattress, but bring along a manual pump as well as the plug in one. Another good, cheap, sleeping mat would be an inflatable pool raft. From personal experience; they are extremely comfortable and they don’t take long to inflate. You can put them on the army cot as an extra cushion, or you can lay them on the floor. A twin fitted sheet works well over top of them. I’ve seen people put several side by side with super glue and seen them make something that is quite close to a queen size mattress

Take more food than you think you’ll need. Sadly, a lot of times Emergency Shelters underplan. Most shelters are run by either The Salvation Army or The Red Cross. Some can even be run by FEMA, but that is few and far between depending on the size of the emergency. A lot of times, they’ll plan for 200-300 people, but they may get double that amount. The “emergency” can also last for much longer than they planned; the hurricane last year had people in emergency shelters for a week to ten full days; they had only planned for five full days. Generally, they try to give you three meals a day with cookies or crackers in between for a light snack. The meals are usually simple: Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, cold cut sandwiches, PB&J sandwiches, bagels, Doughnuts, etc. Some places are using MREs.
The best recommendation is to take comfort junk food: Chips, already popped popcorn, candy, sodas, things like that. Also dried fruits, protein bars, and quick healthy things like that. Also, you want to take multi-vitamins. Your diet may change dramatically, so you’ll want to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you possibly can.


9,025 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'll be doing a basic presentation to a Fire Dept. in the fire district of our main Evacuation Shelter next week. This is to get all on the same page and make sure they are up to date on some of the general policies concerning the animals.

I like to make sure that all the area First Responders and Shelter Staff (for the human side) know the laws on handling animals in an emergency. It is a good time to also do away with some of the mis-information that always seems to go round and round concerning SDs.

One thing that we have is that on the sheet of paper signed by the owner at Intake, is the owner giving us permission to move their animal to another location if necessary without any further permission from the owner. To do this there has to be a system in place to insure the pets retain owner info with them.

It seems that at any workshop or presentation that I give there is at least one person who still believes that a SD must be wearing a harness or cape and that the handler must carry some type of documentation that the dog is "Certified".

1,661 Posts
That's cool. I'm a Paramedic/Fire Fighter and I'm the unofficial "Animal Officer" when it comes to Hurricane stuff. We should be meeting in the next few weeks to go over our plan and see what we need to do to get ready this year. I'd be more than willing to pass on information as I get it.

Yeah, I had to help debunk that one as well within my county. We actually started a program a few years ago where SD owners could voluntarily register in our "Med Book" which is a book with the information about severely handicapped residents in the county. We go around during emergency situations and check on the people in our districts and when evacs needed to happen, they were rescued first. Sadly, not too many people took advantage of it. I wish more did, though.
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