Family Preparedness Friday

Don’t Forget the Doggie!

This week’s post comes to you from my remote location in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve had meetings here all week; which means I have been away from my family all week. I sadly had to leave my husband and children at home. Not let me clarify, the children in our household are fur-babies.

Holden, the chocolate lab, and Arie, the pug

Please meet, Holden the slightly chubby overly-lovable, chocolate lab and Arie the often completely wild and insane rambunctious, pug. I know that I am the same as many other animal owners when I say that my pets are part of my family.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive emergencies or disasters such as a fire, earthquake, flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning.

If possible, if an emergencies or disasters force you to evacuate your home, take your pets with you. However, if you are going to a public shelter, understand that animals may not be allowed inside. For example, Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only exception. Make plans for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.

Be prepared for an emergency or disaster. Assemble animal emergency supply kits and develop a pet-care plan that will work whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location. Keep in mind that what is best for you is typically best for your animals. Create kits for each pet for at least three days, and store the supplies in a pet carrier that’s ready to go.

Kits should include:

  • Pet identification securely attached and current photos of your pets in case they get lost
  • Medications, first-aid kit and veterinary records (stored in a waterproof container)
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals cannot escape
  • Three days’ food supply (one ounce/per pound each day), potable water, bowls, can opener if canned food
  • Pet towel or blanket; pet beds and toys if easily transportable
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Cat litter/pan
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets

In the event of evacuation, do not leave pets behind. However, if it’s impossible to take them, make sure plenty of dry food and water are available.

For more information look at the EDEN Family Preparedness Course or FEMA’s Information for Pet Owners page.

Ag Damage Assessment and Economic Loss

A new tool for you

Accurately and quickly assessing the scale of damage following a disaster has been difficult in the past, but, with a new resource recently released by EDEN member institution Penn State Cooperative Extension Service, that task has been made much easier.  The project was led by EDEN immediate past chair Dave Filson. Other team members were Tom Ball, Tommy Bass, Stephen Brown, Michael Bush, Scott Cotton, Rebecca Csutora, Mike Hunter and Marilyn Simunich.

The Ag Damage Assessment Form provides individuals with a standardized method for determining the extent of damages to agricultural commodities and structures. The form provides space to record details needed to determine the exact location and the scale of loss and damage. The Ag Damage Assessment Form includes sections for agricultural losses, including: animal and crop/plant commodities, structures, stored materials, and machinery and equipment. If losses occur for agricultural items not listed, “other” spaces are provided to add/describe additional losses.

Ag Damage Assessment Forms

  • Reduce guesswork—more accurate
  • Examples show the process
  • User Guide explains each section
  • On-line webinar training
  • PowerPointTM training with instructor notes.

One simple form for every type of disaster, for all agriculture, and every state and region.

Visit http://extension.psu.edu/agdamage to access and download all the resources.

Family Preparedness Friday

A Recipe for Disaster?

If you were to lose power in your home for three days, what would you eat? Food from the refrigerator? No longer good. Food from the freezer? Not an option either. Microwave something? No power, remember.

Maybe you should start thinking now about what you could cook from the ingredients you have in your disaster readiness kit or your kitchen pantry right this moment.

Take a look around, what do you have? You can heat that can of ravioli up of a fire, same for the baked beans and cans of soup. But don’t stop there, think harder. What can you create from these items?

Well, I’ll be honest; my go-to comfort food is chicken pot pie, it’s perfect for sad days, cold days, and really ANY day. And yes, I know there are no two people that make it exactly alike, but I have to say my mother’s recipe is pretty fantastic. However, if my power is knocked out for several days on end I’m not going to be able to use those chicken breasts in the fridge or make pie crust from scratch like the recipe says. I will  be able to make my disaster ready chicken pot pie though. Check out how using canned ingredients can create relatively the same meal.

Disaster Ready Chicken Pot Pie

1 can – Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can – Mixed Vegetables
1 can – Chicken Meat
1 Pie Crust Mix from a box
Water
Salt
Pepper

Mix the pie crust according to instructions. Heat over an open flame. Break canned chicken up with a fork. Mix with vegetables (don’t drain) and soup. Season to taste. Fill pie crust with mixture and heat until warm.

Now that sounds more like a family meal. Be creative, but plan ahead. When making your disaster readiness kit plan meals ahead that will feed your whole family. Canned ingredients may seem simple, but they can make some of the best meals.

What did you find when you looked in your fridge? Share with us some of your disaster ready meal ideas.