That changed when I was at the gym after work and saw the news about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Thankfully my family and friends are all okay. Obviously shaken, but safe at home now. I am absolutely stunned by today's tragedy. I can't even put how I'm feeling into words. I had to turn off the news because they don't have any new information, and they are replaying video clips over and over again. Watching that on repeat isn't good for anyone.
As many of you know, I'm from Cape Cod, went to college on the North Shore of Massachusetts, and went to grad school at Boston University. I moved to Colorado for a few years before settling down here in Nashville [4 years ago this June - crazy how time flies]. My family still lives on the Cape and most of my friends still live in New England. Because of that, my family and I have put an unofficial emergency plan in place. I got to thinking about how that's really great for information purposes, but if there was any kind of emergency in Nashville (whether it be weather-related, a national crisis, etc), they are a bit too far away to really be of any immediate help, you know?
It's just me and Claire here in the south, so my emergency plan for the past four years has been somewhat vague and really simple: (1) get to Claire, (2) get us both in a safe place, then (3) call and update the family. But then I thought this terrible thing: what if I couldn't physically get to Claire? [Of course I laughed after I thought of that because - let's be honest - I'd walk on a bed of nails to get to Claire]. After compiling a list of things that I hadn't yet considered in my quest to be prepared, I found this site, which is a great resource in pointing out some key things to think about when putting together an emergency plan that includes your pets.
- Put together a kit of pet emergency supplies - at least 3 days worth of food and water, medications, medical records, a first aid kit, collar with ID tag and harness/leash, a picture of you with your pet with detailed information about them (breed, color, age, sex, distinguishing characteristics, etc), and favorite treats/toys/bedding.
- Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency [and no, "freaking out" is not on that list]. Plan where you and your pet will go if you need to evacuate. Develop a buddy system so that if you can't get to your pets, someone you trust can help you. Talk to your vet about emergency planning. Gather contact information for emergency animal treatment.
- Be prepared for what might happen. Stay informed about what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region. Be prepared to adapt this information to your circumstances.
And hey, while you and your family are making your emergency plan, do me a favor and pray for Boston, okay? They could really use it right about now.