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Preparing For Hot Weather Emergencies

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Way back in 2012, the area where we live was hit hard by hurricane Sandy.  We were not well prepared.  Our entire city lost power for around a week.  At the time, we didn't own so much as a single working flashlight.  We didn't have a cooler to store food in, or cash to use in the few stores/restaurants that were open (no power means you can't use your debit card).  Luckily we did not, as rumors at the time suggested, lose running water.  I did have plenty of food stocked up for all the pets, and enough disposable warmers to see the lizards through the cold.

DSCN0725Hurricane Sandy hit us in late October - not the coldest month of the year, but far from the warmest.  Without power, we didn't have heat, but didn't have too hard of a time keeping everyone warm.  As I already mentioned, I had disposable heating pads for the lizards.  Barnaby and Kit I wasn't too worried about.  It wasn't going to get too cold for them.  Rabbits usually cope pretty well with cold temperatures and, if needed, I could have given Barnaby some of the lizard's heat pads.  Kit is a snuggle bug so he if got too cold it wouldn't be anything a good snuggle couldn't fix.  Plus, our gas oven was still working so worst case, if it got really cold, I could have gone on a baking spree and used the heat of the oven to help warm the house.

Sandy taught me a lot about emergency preparedness.  We own numerous flashlights now, keep plenty of bottled water in stock in case of emergencies, bought a cooler, and tucked away some cash for food/supplies if we ever can't use cards for any reason.  But it took another power outage, this one in the heat of summer, for me to realize that living without electricity in the summer presents some unique obstacles.

This past Tuesday our power went out.  It wasn't out for nearly as long as it was during Sandy.  It went out Tuesday afternoon, around 5pm, and came back on around 3am.  Still, the temperature when it went out was an uncomfortable 96*f, and the high humidity made it feel even worse than that.  The dogs, Barnaby, and I quickly started missing the AC.

uuuuI've posted tips for keeping pets cool in the past (here), and most of the techniques in that post will apply whether you have electricity or not.  Without the use of our AC or fans, I did have to get a bit creative finding ways to help the pets cool down.  Luckily our freezer was packed full of frozen fruit/vegetables.  I wrapped towels around frozen bags and offered those to Barnaby and the dogs to rest against.

Some of the items we received in our July Pet Treater box really came in handy too!  The Frosty Bowl ensured that the dogs had nice cool water, and I ended up giving Barnaby the cooling towel to lay on.

I don't know what we would have done had the power stayed out longer.  Eventually all our frozen stuff would have thawed.  I suppose the humans and dogs could have cooled off in the bath tub, but that wouldn't have helped Barnaby at all (since rabbits should not be immersed in water).  We also could have gone outside, depending on the weather - maybe there would at least be a nice breeze.  Again, that would potentially work for the people and dogs, but not for Barnaby.

Comment below, what would you do to keep yourself and your pets cool in really hot weather without electricity?  I'm interested to see if anyone has come up with any awesome ideas that I didn't think of!

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