Preparing For Emergencies

Actual October Blizzard

Preparing for emergencies is a topic that should be thought about before anything happens. The emergencies I am talking about are the scenarios that come about through natural disaster or something that requires you to evacuate your home. Naturally, this means your family including your cats.

Our story today starts in middle October 2019 with a snowstorm that shut down Manitoba for almost two weeks. This snowstorm left the wettest deepest snow that set records in this province. Our home was without power for 150.0 hours with 127.0 hours on the generator. The fact that preparing for a power outage is a necessity in this area some people were not.

The Problems To Expect

Wintertime is a poor time to lose power and the ability to heat your house. If I did not have a generator my house would have gotten really cold. Initially, we sat out the storm not knowing its extent and the damage done to the province. Having a battery radio did not give the detail required to guess when the power would come back on. The snow was so deep and wet even four-wheel-drive trucks had difficulty getting out.

Our home got cold enough (13c) that the cats felt cold when I touched them. The power went out at 1700 in the late afternoon and by the next day, I decided to start the generator. One indicator of how your frozen food is doing is that it should be noted that bread gets soft quickly. The meat stays frozen for at least 12 hours depending on the house temperature. I find that when the ice cream is mushy it is time to plug in if able.

My generator is set up to power the heating system, septic pump, sump pump plus a plugin in the kitchen. With extension cords, we plug in the freezer, heat the garage along with the ability to run the microwave and additional lighting and use the electric kettle. The water system was working, We could not use the hot water tank so no hot water for a few hours.

A quick calculation is that my 6200/7750 watt generator uses about a litre of gasoline an hour. I used my gas cans and then had to siphon gas from my truck. By this time the nearby town had power restored and the roads were plowed so I went to town for more gas. We are so fortunate that it was not -30c. Our stay at home was a minor inconvenience, not everyone was as lucky.

Being prepared helped a lot in keeping everyone comfortable. We had ample cat and dog food. There was no reason to get to town immediately so the experience was survivable.

Having a generator I feel is a necessity no matter where you live. The cost of wasted food alone offsets the cost of a generator plus keeping your home and your family from freezing up. It is necessary to install a proper generator hook up so that the generator is powering the house properly while not back-feeding to the power line and creating a threat to repair crews. Your electrician can help you get set up properly. It will also be necessary to purchase the proper cords and cables for the hookup and have the ability to power fridges, deep freezes and small appliances. Gasoline is a necessity, however with a shelf life of six months stockpiling gasoline is not recommended unless you are going to use it.

The generator and cables are similar to what I use. It is necessary to match your cables to your generator properly and there are many variations.

Evacuation Considerations

One of my neighbours had to leave their home because their generator did not have the capacity to power the electric boiler. They left the generator running to power essentials and left the home locked up. The problems are now that regular trips back are required to prevent theft and entry.

During this time the whole province was declared in a state of emergency. This means that police and other services were spread thin. If you have to leave your home consideration should be given to important documents, valuables and firearms. Everyone should consider a safe that is heavy and bolted down. Lock all doors and windows and remember that the alarm system will not be working.

Your Pets

This is the most important consideration when evacuating your home.

The Cats

Mother Cat
Mum and Kittens

Every cat should have a carrier. I prefer hard carriers in case stacking is necessary. It will be necessary to take their food, bowls and cat litter. Take a litter box so that where ever you move to you can be neat, especially if you have to go to a motel/hotel. Be sure to take any medicines (don’t forget your prescriptions). Because your cats will be in an unfamiliar situation they will tend to flee. Be very careful and do not let them escape especially if they are free in a room. Guests or room service can easily let them out and they might be hard to get back. Cats will get cold and scared if left in a vehicle. Let’s not let a stressful situation get worse. This advice applies to dogs, birds or any pet you may have. Here is a sample of a cat carrier that I like.

In Closing

Natural disasters and severe weather events can be stressful. A little forethought and preparation can reduce stress. It must be remembered that any device that creates toxic fumes must not be operated in the house or apartment. Even the BBQ which is a necessary piece of survival equipment must be operated outside.

The fact that there was only one small paragraph on pet evacuation, it is probably the most important. The cats will not survive being left behind or kicked outside. My pets will be part of my evacuation plans no matter what.

My generator including cables, cords and a home isolation breaker box installed by an electrician cost approximately $2000.00 CDN . The topic of generators and the associated hardware may seem complicated. The best advice you can get is from your electrician. If you wish to ask me questions please do so in the comments area.

That’s my story for today. If you have any questions or comments please do so at the bottom. Now hug a kitty and have a great day.

Don’t forget to have a look at my Cat Care Products page for more great items for your cat.


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