NOTE: This is an abridged edition of the plan edited to fit in this space. For a personal copy, contact Warren Keyser, 9191.353.6678 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
GOLF NORTH PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLAN
As of: JAN 2014
Supersedes all previous editions
Prepared by: Warren E. Keyser, GN Disaster Preparedness Coordinator
Approved by: Karen McGaughey, GN POA President
Each year, North Carolina communities are rocked by severe weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms, tornados, floods and winter storms. We can also be confronted with wildfires and major hazardous material (chemical) spills. Any of these events can lead to disasters that severely restrict and overwhelm emergency response resources, communications, transportation and utilities. In a disaster situation, Golf North Property Owners Association (POA) residents could find themselves cut off from outside emergency support they have come to expect at a moment’s notice through the 911 system.
Experience shows that neighbors naturally come together to help each other after a disaster, but neighborhoods that are already organized are better prepared to act right away. With preparation, you and your neighbors can save lives, reduce the severity of injuries, and lessen property damage. Golf North POA has prepared this plan to help residents prepare for large-scale disasters and learn how to take care of our families, friends and neighbors when local professional response personnel are not immediately available.
The purpose of the Golf North Disaster Preparedness Plan is to provide important emergency preparedness guidelines and response information to our residents. We firmly believe that planning and organizing now will help everyone react more quickly and effectively following a major disaster.
This plan is designed to augment and support the Carolina Trace Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) during a disaster situation. While this guide is intended to call neighbors into action following a major disaster, it is only one element of the overall goal of disaster preparedness. In addition to understanding the Golf North POA plan for disaster preparedness and recovery, every resident is encouraged to:
Prepare for disaster by assembling home and car readiness kits, a “grab and go” bag, copies of important personal documents, obtaining a weather radio, and keeping the car’s fuel tank topped off when severe weather is imminent.
Place a white rag on your mailbox following a disaster if you and your home are okay. This will allow responders to conduct search and rescue operations more quickly because they will know from the white rag that you are okay and they can go on to neighbors who need help.
The Golf North POA Disaster Preparedness Organization follows. These individuals are charged with responsibilities for managing our POA disaster response. Support of these volunteers in their disaster roles by all residents of the Golf North POA is essential for success.
POA President & POA Disaster Coordinator – responsible for preparing and coordinating the Golf North POA Disaster Preparedness Plan. The POA Disaster Coordinator assists the President as required and will take the lead at the POA Assembly Point, when established.
POA Communicator (POA Secretary) – responsible for assisting the POA Disaster Coordinator in the Assembly Area by serving as the principal team member responsible for maintaining communications within the POA and with responders. It is very important that the Golf North POA “speak with one voice”.
POA Block Captains – Block Captains best described as Good Neighbors!!! They are the interface with their neighboring homes. They keep track of and update the information we have asked everyone to provide, execute a Phone Tree for their group and assist the POA Disaster Coordinator in the POA Assembly Area. They also select alternates to serve in their stead when they are unavailable: (see attached blocks)
POA Messengers – responsible for getting POA damage assessments to the CT CERT Command Post.
Food Point of Distribution Personnel – responsible for assisting in the operation of the Carolina Trace Food Point of Distribution (FPOD) and identifying a POA point of distribution. Once established, the FPOD will contain water, ice, and MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat) and will be manned by POA personnel. These people should be capable of lifting and carrying cases of water and MREs. (Location of Carolina Trace food distribution points will be provided during emergency assistance by Lee County.)
Emergency Service Escorts – responsible for guiding responders to POA disaster sites.
GOLF NORTH POA BLOCK CAPTAINS AND BLOCKS
BLOCK # 1 – James Stuart, 6135 St Andrews Drive, Home # 910-391-7085 cell # 301-213-2680 email- email@example.com
BLOCK # 2 – Joe Houle, 6036 Masters Circle, Home # 919-353-1485 email- firstname.lastname@example.org
BLOCK # 3 – Gary Henry, 6104 Burning Tree Circle, Home # 919-499-0455 cell # 919-356-0680, email- email@example.com
BLOCK # 4 – Greg Garcia, 6009 Cypress Point, cell # 816-377-8722 email- firstname.lastname@example.org
BLOCK # 5 – Hal McGaughey, 6089 Dunes Drive, Home # 919-498-2631, email- email@example.com
BLOCK # 6 – Mark & Linda Scott, 6072 Jones Circle, Home #’s Mark – 910-548-0780, Linda – 910-548-2279 email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Block Captains are the interface with neighbors. They keep track of and update lists as changes occur. They also execute the Phone Tree for their group and assist the POA Disaster Coordinator in the POA Assembly Area. Block Captains are also responsible for appointing a “back-up” as needed to ensure their block has coverage at all times.
HOW TO RIDE OUT AN EMERGENCY
Be prepared by always being aware of the weather possibilities. A NOAA weather radio is useful to stay informed. Some radios come with a programmable tone alarm to notify you that a severe weather event is happening near you. Another option we have in our area is to subscribe to the severe weather warning service from WRAL-TV: http://www.wral.com/weather/page/3567856/.
If there is a storm approaching, ensure that your cell phone and golf cart have a full charge. It is a good idea to have a corded telephone in your home in case the power fails (but do not use it during a thunderstorm). Frequently when the power is out, phone service is still available. You may wish to ensure that you have a cell phone charger that does not depend on electricity, in case of power outage. Many weather radios have an outlet for cell phones and use solar power or a hand crank to generate power.
Locate your utility shut-off controls and know how to close them. Use the following diagram to remind yourself of the location of your controls.
If a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, winter storm or other disaster (such as a wildfire) strikes our community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks. By taking some time now to store emergency food, water, and preparedness items, you can provide for your entire family. In the event of a calamity, be prepared to hunker down for at least three days without utilities or access to grocery and hardware stores.
Much of the following information is taken from the FEMA guide for disaster preparedness Are You Ready? You may download a copy of this publication from the ready.gov website, or call FEMA Publications to get a copy sent to you. Visit http://www.ready.gov/are-you-ready-guide for directions on obtaining the booklet.
If you have to leave your home during a flood, remember these evacuation tips:
Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away. The following are important points to remember when driving in flood conditions:
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
After a Flood
Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Avoid moving water.
Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!
If you are in: A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building) — Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.
If you are in: A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home — Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
If you are in: The outside with no shelter — Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
Before a Hurricane
Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8″ marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Determine a room in your home that will be safest to ride out a storm with damaging winds.
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
Listen to the radio or TV for information.
Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
Turn off propane tanks.
Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
Moor your boat if time permits.
Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
If you feel you are in danger.
During a hurricane
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm—winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:
Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
The following are guidelines for what you should do if a thunderstorm is likely in your area:
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible).
- Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
- Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
Evacuation (this section is taken from The Disaster Preparedness Handbook by Arthur T. Bradley)
Evacuation is decided by one simple question: Is it safer to stay or go?
Basic steps to prepare for your possible departure:
Fully fuel your vehicle and any spare gas cans. Have enough fuel to travel at least 500 miles.
Identify multiple escape routes from the area being affected. Pick at least one alternative retreat location in case traffic flow prevents you from traveling to your preferred one.
Listen to TV or radio broadcasts to determine when is the best time to evacuate and what the recommended escape routes are.
Pack your vehicle with supplies, including those you might need for roadside emergencies.
If you decide to evacuate, take additional steps to prepare your home:
Unplug all electronics except for refrigerators and freezers.
Brace windows, doors and garage door as best you can (if appropriate to the threat).
Let family and friends know when you are leaving and where you will be heading.
Put on shoes and clothes that will suit you well should your car break down. Be prepared to spend the night in your car.
Develop a plan for your family and put together the basic preparedness kits:
- One for your Home
- One for your Car
- A “Grab-and-Go” for use in an evacuation
The following pages describe the purpose of these three kits and recommended items for inclusion.
YOUR HOME PREPAREDNESS KIT
The supplies in your house should keep your family safe and healthy for at least three days – and be useful during the cleanup phase after a disaster. Following are items you should consider for inclusion in your home preparedness kit, in addition to the items in your “Grab and Go Kit”.
- Water – one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. Replace every 6 months if not using commercially bottled water.
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for family and pets
- NOAA weather radio – battery or hand-cranked (Store in “Grab & Go” kit so you will have access if you need to evacuate)
- First Aid Kit – pain relievers, antidiarrheal medication, bandages, scissors, tweezers, insect repellent, splint, medical tape, iodine, needle and thread
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt – to help filter the air
- Hand tools – wrench, pliers, multi-tool, plastic sheeting, duct tape, and an assortment of nails, screws, and bolts to shelter in place
- Manual Can opener
- Garbage bags and plastic ties – for personal sanitation
- Vital documents (see Evacuation Document Checklist for ideas)
- Prescription medications
- Fire extinguisher
- Heavy gloves – for removing debris
- Toilet paper & bucket, moist towelettes for sanitation
- Flashlight with extra batteries, lanterns or candles and matches
- Window sealing materials – plastic, duct tape
- Change of clothing – long pants, long-sleeved shirts, rain jackets, sturdy boots or shoes
- Water Purification Kit
YOUR CAR PREPAREDNESS KIT
You never know where you will be when a crisis occurs, so keep a box or bag of supplies in the trunk of your car to sustain your family if stranded on the road. Consider:
- Local maps
- Writing supplies – pens, pencils, notebook
- Food – dried fruit, snacks, cookies
- 2 gallons of bottled water
- Mess kit – paper plates, cups, utensils
- Compact sleeping bag or blankets
- Sanitation supplies – toilet paper, moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand tools, multi-tool knife, duct tape, jumper cables
- Cell phone charger
- Clothes – sweater, waterproof jacket, hat, shoes
- First Aid kit – bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, aspirin, antidiarrheal medicine, medical tape
- Fire extinguisher
- Light sticks or roadside flares
- Tow line for hauling or towing
YOUR “GRAB-AND-GO” KIT
In an emergency evacuation, there’s not always enough time to find what you need, so your grab-and-go kit should be preloaded with all your essentials.
- Important documents – copy of insurance documents, identification, bank records, medical records, deeds, etc.
- Prescriptions – medications (remember to rotate your stock)
- Extra pair of eye glasses
- Mini first aid kit – bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin
- Cash – $300.00 in small denominations
- Prepaid phone card
- Matches in waterproof container
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Portable NOAA weather radio – battery or hand crank powered
- Food – e.g., granola, nuts and bottled water
- Extra set of keys for your home and car
- Infant/child/pet necessities
Staying Home: Day of Disaster Checklist
Check your home (if it is safe to do so)
Is anyone seriously injured?
If yes, first dial 911. If telephone service is out, get information to the POA designated Assembly Area.
Small campfire size: If yes, extinguish it.
Large fire (door size or larger)? If yes, implement your evacuation plan. A large hot fire demands evacuation. If it’s realistic, fight the fire after evacuation.
If yes, don’t use matches, candles, electrical switches or plugs, flashlights, or other spark producers; go outside to turn off the gas; turn off the electricity from outside if possible.
If no, do not turn off the gas.
If yes, shut off the water at the main shutoff. TIP: Be Cautious! Sewer damage in the hills above you threatens your water purity. You can fill your tubs, etc., and then shut down the system.
Everything is OK and you will be staying at home?
Let everyone know that you are OK and staying at home. Hang a white rag out in front of your house, on your mailbox, if possible. Search and Rescue Teams can save valuable time by passing houses where all is OK and going on with their search and rescue efforts.
You will be leaving your home?
Turn off the electricity at the meter before you leave. TIP: When power is restored, forgotten electrical appliances that have fallen or were left on start the majority of fires in evacuated homes.
Tell your neighbors and Block Captain you are leaving.
Post a note on your front door telling rescue workers how to contact you.
Go to #2 – Check in at the POA designated Assembly Point and leave another note on how to contact you.
Make sure you have your preparedness kit and “grab-and-go” bag with you.
Golf North POA will have an evacuation assembly area for situations where we are ordered by emergency management officials to evacuate the POA. Understand that it is not likely that Carolina Trace residents will be given an evacuation order in any instance other than a wildfire or major chemical spill; however, wildfires and chemical spills are two of the possible disaster scenarios we could face and we should be ready. We will also identify an assembly area within the POA for situations where we are not given an evacuation order and we ride out the storm in our homes.
POA Assembly Area:
The Golf North POA Assembly Area to be used when we have ridden out the storm in our homes, will be at the Golf North pool. This assembly area will serve as both our POA “nerve center” and self-help center.
In this assembly area we will:
Establish a bulletin board to keep neighbors informed.
Monitor radio stations and post conditions on the bulletin board for neighbors.
Post an emergency phone number for residents and family to reach the POA until regular communications are restored.
Track people leaving the POA, how they can be located, and when they plan to return to the POA. If you are evacuating the POA, please post a 3×5 card on your front door for first responders in case they need to contact you and on the Assembly Area bulletin board so neighbors know how to contact you.
Organize work teams and establish work schedules for cleanup of POA common areas while ensuring time is left for cleanup of homeowner property. Initial tasks for work teams include: checking the status of utilities, performing damage assessments, starting cleanup of roadways and debris removal, determining the sources of drinking water and food, and determining security requirements within the POA.
Evacuation Assembly Area:
During disasters such as major chemical spills and wildfires, we are apt to receive mandatory evacuation orders from emergency management officials. When we receive orders to evacuate, Block Captains or their designees will ensure each resident in their block is informed of the mandatory evacuation and that they are informed of available evacuation routes as described below. Block Captains will also make arrangements to evacuate those in their block with special needs.
The Golf North POA Assembly Area, when we are ordered to evacuate, will be in the Wal-Mart parking lot, approximately three miles north of the entrance to Carolina Trace. We will meet in this assembly area to gain accountability for our residents, pass information on the current status of the evacuation order and to plan for recovery once we are allowed to re-enter the POA.
If the Wal-Mart area is not safe and we need to evacuate to the south, the alternate assembly area will be in the open area near Dale’s Cleansing Well Car Wash near the intersection of Highway 87 and Broadway Road (1.2 miles south of the entrance to Carolina Trace).
Evacuate Carolina Trace by one of the established evacuation routes. There are several possible evacuation routes from Golf North POA (see maps at back of this information packet). Know them!
- Traceway open to front gate: Take normal exit route to Carolina Trace entrance and proceed to the Golf North POA Evacuation Assembly Area location.There are two alternative exits if Traceway is closed near the Entrance Gate.
- Water Tower Exit – Exit on Traceway toward the main gate; turn right on Indian Trail and proceed to the gate near the water tower area and exit onto Hwy 87, then proceed to the Golf North POA Evacuation Assembly Area.
- Argyll Exit – Exit on Traceway toward the main gate; turn right on Chelsea Drive toward Sedgemoor POA. Turn left on Argyll Drive. Drive to just before Yorkshire Circle and turn left through the Emergency Exit Gate to Hwy 87 and proceed to the Golf North POA Evacuation Assembly Area.
Traceway North Exit – Exit Golf North POA onto Traceway in the opposite direction from the main gate. Drive to Permanent Emergency Road between Highland Woods and Mallard Cove. Proceed through gate to Cox Mill Road and turn left to proceed to Hwy 421. Turn left on Hwy 421 and proceed to Hwy 87. Turn left on Hwy 87 and proceed to the Golf North POA Evacuation Assembly Area.
Traceway is not open going left or right: Evacuate through the golf course by golf cart or by foot. Depending on the threat to the Club House or Entrance Gate areas you will be advised of the evacuation route and destination. Golf cart operators are encouraged to pick up those with the most difficulty walking.
Water Evacuation Route – In the event all land evacuation routes are closed, evacuate through the golf course to the lake shore at the 18th hole of the Creek Course for evacuation by pontoon boat.
Recovering After a Disaster
The recovery efforts following a major disaster will require the concerted efforts of all members & residents of the POA. Neighbors will need to assist each other in restoring our POA to normal. We live in a private, gated community and could be on our own to recover following a major disaster. For many, the weeks and months of recovery after a disaster can be even more traumatic than the catastrophe itself.
- Energy Needs: Think about cooking together to save resources. The POA will establish sites for latrines or port-a-potties as necessary.
- Shelters: People do not like staying in shelters. If your home is still inhabitable, consider sheltering neighbors.
- Security: Following a major disaster, there may be concerns about security for uninhabited or damaged homes. The POA will assess security issues and may institute a type of Neighborhood Watch program if needs warrant.
- Cleaning Up: A work schedule for clearing streets and common use areas will be posted daily on the bulletin board in the Assembly Area. Time for cleaning up individual homes will be factored in to this work schedule. Understand that going into your damaged home and seeing a terrible mess is very stressful so consider “buddying up” with a neighbor in cleaning up your and his/her individual home as a way to reduce stress.
Bottom-line: It will not be easy; but by working together after a major disaster, we can return our neighborhood to the great community it is today.
Helpful Phone Numbers (Area Code 919 unless otherwise indicated)
In an Emergency FIRST Dial 911
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) – 498-6751/721-0381
Carolina Trace Fire Dept. – 499-5811
Carolina Trace Gate House/Security – 499-2339
Lee County Sherriff – 775-5531
Animal Control – call Lee County Sheriff: 775-5531
Central Carolina Hospital – 774-2100
Emergency Room – 774-2260
Lee County Health Dept. – 718-4640
Lee County Emergency Services – 718-4670
American Red Cross – 774-6857
Salvation Army – 776-2769
Water & Sewer Problems:
Carolina Trace Utilities, Inc. – 800-348-2383
Progress Energy – 800-419-6356
Tree & Branch Removal:
Bobby Branch – 776-4840
Phil Stone – 776-4678
Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.
Step 1 Get a Rescue Alert Sticker This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian’s phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order…
To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order HYPERLINK “http://www.aspca.org/about-us/free-aspca-stuff/free-pet-safety-pack.aspx”form; please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.
Step 2 Arrange a Safe Haven Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
- Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
- Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
- Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
- Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Step 3 Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:
- Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online. ASPCA Store to buy one online)
- 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
- Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
- Litter or paper toweling
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
- Pet feeding dishes
- Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
- Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
- Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
- A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
- Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
- Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
- Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
- Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner.
You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include:
- duct tape
- permanent marker
- spray paint
- baby wipes
- protective clothing and footwear
- extra cash
- rescue whistle
- important phone numbers
- extra medication
- copies of medical and insurance information.
Step 4 Choose “Designated Caregivers” This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.
When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Step 5 Evacuation Preparation If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters.
Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.
Step 6 Geographic and Climatic Considerations Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly.
Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.
Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.
If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it’s crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your Evac-Pack and supplies close at hand. Your pets may become stressed during the in-house confinement, so you may consider crating them for safety and comfort.
Special Considerations for Birds
- Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
- In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
- In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
- Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
- If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with paper towels that you can change frequently.
- Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.
Special Considerations for Reptiles
- A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
- Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming device, such as a hot water bottle.
- Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).
Special Considerations for Small Animals
- Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
- Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.
Note: This list of Carolina Trace/Golf North volunteers and any personal information provided is for the sole use of CT CERT/Golf North Disaster Preparedness. Any review, use, distribution, or disclosure by others is prohibited. This plan is not intended to be legal, technical, or other professional advice, nor a substitute for such advice.
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