Like so many other folks in Montana and the West, Max, Raven and I have been dealing with the effects of living amidst wildfires. Since about the middle of July, Missoula has been surrounded by wildfires. Unfortunately, the growing rate of the fires is faster than the rate the women and men working the fires are able to contain them.
The smoke from the fires has been horrific, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) ranging from unhealthy to hazardous. Cat Raven seems to be handling it well, at least I’m not noticing any changes or any slowing down in his natural way of being. I feel sorry for my dog Max. he wants to go outside so badly for a walk but as soon as I open the door to go out, he sticks his nose out and then comes back in the house. Our walks are now taking place in the house, back and forth in the loft area.
You can see for yourself that I am the height of fashion when it comes to protecting myself from the smoke. This picture was was taken inside the house, and that is smoke outside the window, not clouds.
The Summer of 2017 – Human Culpability
This summer the United States has been experiencing natural disasters at an unprecedented rate. Fires raging in the Pacific Northwest, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, floods in Texas, and Hurricane Irma soon to be hitting the East Coast.
I’d like to be able to describe these events as “of Biblical proportions”. But that would release us humans of our culpability in the disasters, and place the onus on Universe, God, Goddess, whatever term you prefer. After all, if that power – by whatever name you call it – created this, they can fix it and take care of us, right? But I just can’t go down that rabbit hole. The catastrophic events we are now experiencing are the direct results of our treatment of the planet and Nature, the direct result of us choosing not to be in right relationship with our earth home and those with whom we share her. If there’s any ‘fixing’ that can be done at this point, it’s up to us and not some other worldly being to take care of the world as it now is and make reparations.
The times have changed, and it is essential we change with them by responding to these events and preparing for future cataclysmic events. As the saying goes, it’s time to Buckle Up, Buttercup.
Preparing A Pet Evacuation Kit
Those of us who have animals in our family need to make emergency plans that includes them. They are our family members and they count on us to take care of them. This goes for domesticated animals and farm animals. You can read what the Humane Society of the United States says about disaster planning for farm animals here.
An evacuation kit is an excellent starting place. Have it prepared in advance and store it in a waterproof container that’s easy to carry. Be sure to update it as needed: for instance when your animal pal’s ID, documentation and medication changes.
Your kit needs to contain:
Food and Medicine
- 3-7 days’ worth of food
- Current medications
- 7 days’ supply of water
- Food and water bowls
First Aid Kit (you can make this or purchase one already made up)
- Antibiotic ointment
- Buffered aspirin
- Bandage tape and scissors
- Digital thermometer
- Flea and tick prevention (if needed in your area)
- Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
- Latex gloves
- Towel and washcloth
- Litter, litter pan, and scoop
- Paper towels and trash bags
- Household cleaners
- Identification papers including proof of ownership
- Medical records and medication instructions
- Emergency contact list with veterinarian contact information and friend/family member
- Photo of you and your pet with names and contact information
- Crate or pet carrier labeled with your contact information
- Extra collar/harness with ID tags and leash
- Favorite toys
Resources for the Current Fires and Floods
If you are already immersed in any of the catastrophes already occurring, you may find these links helpful:
- Austin Pets Alive – Hurricane Harvey
- Ways You Can Help People During Hurricane Harvey (includes pets)
- Resources for Gulf Cost Hurricane Harvey Victims
- VCA East Mill Plain or VCA Battle Ground Hospitals (Oregon)
- The Pongo Fund (Oregon)
- Humane Society of Western Montana
Be safe, and take good care of yourselves and your animal families.
Here’s To New Beginnings,