By Kathy Santo | Updated: April 30 2019
I’m an optimist. Anyone who’s known me for more than a minute knows it, and my stock answer (especially regarding forecasts predicting bad weather) is usually “It won’t be that bad.” And most of the time, I’m right. But, having lived in South Florida before moving back to NJ (and weathering my fair share of hurricanes, including Andrew in 1992, and Sandy in 2012!), I’ve experienced first-hand what being prepared for a storm means! And while I hope you never have to experience a severe storm, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. For this blog, I’m going to assume that you’ve taken care of preparing your home and family. But if not, Red Cross has an awesome website outlining how to prepare for every emergency imaginable.
Here’s my list of tried-and-true tips to keep the stress of my (and your!) canine family members at a minimum (feel free to adapt this list to other species of pets that you have in your home):
I know it LOOKS like it’s over, but there’s still a potential danger! When you’re taking your dog outside after a hurricane, keep him leashed at all times, and avoid downed power lines, standing water, debris, or any wild animals that may be displaced from their normal environment.
So many animals end up abandoned, endangered, or separated from their families due to severe weather. And if you’re feeling the same way I do when you hear the news and see pictures and videos of the aftermath, here’s a few ways you can help:
* Donate money to shelters and rescue groups.
* Donate Supplies: Dog and cat food, kitty litter, crates, or other amenities are always appreciated. Sometimes rescue groups (like Austin Pets Alive in Texas) post an Amazon Wishlist and detail the supplies they need.
* Fosters are always needed, but never more than during an emergency.
* Even if you don’t live in an affected area, you can also volunteer at a shelter or rescue group. Many are transporting animals out of the affected area and to other locations, so help is needed everywhere.
Volunteering and donating anything you can to a shelter or rescue group is ALWAYS a good idea, even when there’s no weather emergency!
Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.
In Ramsey, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.