By Linda Cole
I live in Tornado Alley, and when I bought my home one of the most important considerations was a basement. I wanted a secure area where I could leave my pets when it was stormy and I was at work. Emergencies can happen at any time, day or night, but too many families don’t consider what might happen until a disaster is at their front door.
Practicing how you will handle certain kinds of emergencies can make a difference. Practice makes perfect, and when you know what to do and where to go, panic doesn’t take over your mind. Practice gives you knowledge, and knowledge gives you the power and strength to move quickly in an emergency.
Having a plan is one of the best ways to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe in an emergency. Teaching kids what to do when they’re home alone may not ease fears in an emergency, but it can help to keep them calmer so they can follow a plan instead of racing around trying to think what they should do and frantically searching for pets that may be hiding or forgetting about them altogether.
Pets have certain places in their home where they feel the most comfortable and safe. Some prefer a secluded place like under the bed or tucked away in a closet. It’s important for everyone to know your pet’s favorite places because most likely, that’s where you’ll find them if they’re hiding. Cats and dogs are pros at picking up how we are feeling and if we have anxiety and are frightened, they understand it. So it’s important to know all of the possible hiding places your pet could go if they’re scared. You can’t count on them answering you if they’re frightened. Pets can freeze up with fear just like people can do.