Friday, April 24, 2015

Disaster Can Strike Anytime #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, but Riverfront Cats only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

It seems every time I turn on the news, Mother Nature's wrath is more constant and furious.
Floods, landslides, earthquakes, brush fires, snow blizzards, super storms, etc.. Even a power outage from technological failure can wreak havoc in a city and its residents.  Remember New York City power outage of 2003?
Helio under the cover. He is scared of howling winds during Tropical Storm Isaac.

Disaster can strike any time and with no warning. This is why it's important to have a Disaster Preparedness / Emergency Plan for your entire family INCLUDING your pets.

After Hurricane Katrina skirmished through Miami, a few weeks later we were hit hard by Hurricane Wilma.  My building did not have power for an entire week which seems like an eternity in the modern world. Neighbors complained and felt trapped, scared with no electricity, no cell phone (cell phones do NOT work during major storms), no hot water, no gasoline to drive anywhere and dwindling food supply for humans and pets.  I elected to stay in my condo building and hunker down. As a native Floridan, I'm a hurricane expert and I WAS FULLY PREPARED for me and my pets.

Here is my abbreviated list:

1. Have enough supplies to last a week. Dry cat food, wee wee pads for dogs, litter, litter bags, lots of water bottles and paper plates and bowls and utensils. It's not a bad idea to line the cat carriers with pee pads in case your cat gets scared and has an accident. Keep a "ready and go" bag for sudden departures.

Pet Emergency Supplies for Evacuation

2. IDs for your pets. Collars, photos of your pets, microchips or tattoos. Print flyers with photos of your pets and place in pockets of the carrier, and your purse. Cell phone batteries fade quickly so technology is not readily available during and after a disaster.  Think basics.

3. If you are traveling: bring their pet beds, something with a familiar scent from home to lessen anxiety.

Jean Pierre posing with glass pumpkin for Thanksgiving on  his pet bed. I bring his bed on road trips.

4. If you stay at home, invest in a telephone landline and old touch tone phone.  Cell phones were down for days, and an old fashion phone and landline kept us connected to the outside world. A huge relief.

5. Invest in a platform bed or bed with wheels.  This is a must for any pet parent in my opinion because it can be very difficult getting kitty out from under the bed. The fire alarm goes off now and then in my condo building and when I smell smoke, I know it's not a false alarm. The cats all race under the bed for refuge. Getting cats out from under the bed is not as challenging because my mattress/box spring is on wheeled frame that I can move the bed, and easily get the cat.  Be sure you have the pet carriers nearby and close all other doors.

One of the best tips I can offer is to let your cats lounge on their cat carrier in the home. I took it a step further and ordered a stroller with a detachable carrier which I placed next to the window. It became the cats' gazing/lounging quarters to watch the birds and take naps. For trips, I just closed the door and attached it to the stroller. Voila!

Jean Pierre gazing out sliding doors at the birds on his detachable carrier

The double decker pet stroller in 2001. My dog loves the stroller.

When Hurricane Wilma struck in 2005, I only had three pets at the time.  I think of all those pets at shelters during and after a disaster. Personnel can not evacuate or go anywhere with hundreds of dogs and cats. Often shelters are overwhelmed with displaced pets.  Thankfully  Hill’s® Disaster Relief Network answers the challenge. 

As an extension of its Food, Shelter & Love® program, Hill's established the first national network to help deliver pet food to shelters and vet clinics affected by natural disasters. In its first year of operations the network delivered free pet food to 50 shelters and vet clinics across the U.S. in response to 11 major disasters from Washington state to Waco, Texas. Hurray for Hill's pet food!!

SPCA of Texas recipient of Hill's generous donation after a natural disaster. 

Shelter pets receive premium food.
They deserve the best like any pet.
So before Mother Nature unleashes her fury in your city or another disaster strikes your home, prepare now.  Comes May 9, FEMA National Pet Disaster Preparedness Day, you'll be ahead of the madness and exhale a sigh of relief.

Have you and your pets been affected by a natural or other disaster? Were you prepared? Share your experience, by clicking on "Comment" below. We'd love to hear from you!


  1. Thankfully we're pretty sheltered by natural disasters here in VT but Hurricanes Irene and Sandy scared the daylights out of us. I can't imagine living in a place where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant worry. Give me a good old snowstorm anytime LOL!

  2. Great post and info. Nicky dug a hole in TW’s box spring so even if she could move the bed, she couldn’t get me. You were very lucky the phone lines weren’t out too. On 9/11, cell phones didn’t work and, after a while, land lines didn’t work because so many were using them. My peeps remember the TWO big NYC blackouts. TW was in NYC both times.

  3. That tip about having a bed on wheels or higher up is so good. We hide under the bed and the mom can never get us out.

  4. We like to think we are prepared, but we also hope we never have to find out. Hey, thanks for checking on me, I'm feeling better once again.

  5. Great info! Will be sure to bookmark this one!