I’ve been meaning to write about this article I read back in October. It’s about a bill that is currently working its way through the Massachusetts State Legislature that would require towns and cities to devise emergency evacuation and shelter plans for animals.
From the little I can glean, it sounds like this particular piece of legislation focuses on what to do in cases of natural disasters — which is great! We have been pretty lucky here in the Boston area to have few devastating storms in the past decade. We may moan and groan about all the snow or rain, but we should have nothing to complain about compared with those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Moore, Okla. tornado disaster, or Hurricane Sandy.
So, good on Sen. Karen Spilka who is lobbying for this bill.
While we wait for its outcome, let’s take action ourselves. Do you have an emergency plan in place? Not many of us do. My husband and I haven’t talked about how to communicate if we lost cell phone and Internet communications.
Outside of our human considerations, we have our little furry friends to think about. As you ask yourself the questions below, add “what happens to my cat(s)” in each of the points:
* What if you were at work or traveling when a major storm wiped out power or damaged your home? Also consider what happens if that storm affects your neighbors and your whole town.
* What if a fire started at your home while you were at work or traveling?
* What if a natural disaster affected the city in which you’re vacationing — preventing you from getting home for days or weeks?
Here’s a great resource to help with the answers to some of these questions, as well as tips for what to have on hand in cases of emergency: ASPCA Disaster Preparedness at www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness.
Yes, this can be emotional thinking time, and yet it’s practical. Hopefully, we’ll never need the plans we put in place!