Most people do not think of severe weather when discussing New York State. We split our time living part of the year in the Finger Lakes Region of Western New York and the Thousand Islands Region in Northern New York. We certainly have had our share of severe storms over the years! In July of 1995, a series of microbursts hit Northern NY killing 5 and causing nearly a half billion dollars in damages. It was the second derecho in a series that July. The storms severely damaged 125,000 acres of forest in the Adirondack park and necessitated the helicopter rescue of 31 hikers trapped due to blocked trails.
In September of 1998, a derecho formed over Western NY. Winds were estimated at about 115 mph in the most seriously damaged areas. Tens of thousands of trees were blown down and damage was estimated at about 130 million dollars. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses lost power and remained without it for up to a week.
In 1991, the worst ice storm in decades paralyzed huge sections of Western and Northern New York. Once again, power was knocked out to hundreds of thousands of homes shutting down businesses, schools, transportation, and government offices. Tree after tree fell, bringing down a tangled mess of power lines. Cars and homes were struck by trees, blocking roads and disrupting lives for an extended period of time. A State of Emergency was declared in 19 counties.
It is these types of storms that force us to rethink our Emergency Preparedness Strategy...not just for us, but for our pets as well.
The responsibility for shelters during a disaster stretches the resources of already overwhelmed staff members to the breaking point. They are not only caring for their shelter animals, but also many pets that have been separated from their owners. Hill's Disaster Relief Network is poised and ready to assist at just a moment's notice so they can ensure that all animals have the proper nutrition that they need even though they are upset and stressed out.
Until these pets can be safely reunited with their families, it is the responsibility of the Hill's Disaster Relief Network to keep these animals healthy and happy.
It is very important to have a plan in place that absolutely ensures the health and safety of your pets and even the most prepared owners can get separated from their pets during a disaster.
Hill's mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets and was founded over 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition.
The Hill's Disaster Relief Network is positioned to quickly respond with shipments of food to communities impacted by the disaster.
Hill's established the first of its kind national network in 2013 as an extension of its Food, Shelter and Love® Program. In the last 3 years, the Hill's network has delivered free pet food to more than 60 different shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 25 major incidents...including floods in Colorado, fires in Idaho and Arizona, the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, the mudslide in Washington State and tornadoes in the central and southern regions of the country. In 2015, the Hill's Disaster Relief Network assisted with 3 incidents, including the severe tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma.
**In honor of National Pet Disaster Preparedness Day is May 14th FEMA is instructing people to be Pet Prepared!!**
Hill's recommends the following 7 tips to insure your pet's safety in an emergency:
1. Ensure your pet can be identified by microchip or collar ID and make certain that your contact information is always current.
2. Prepare a "Pet Emergency GO Kit" of supplies that is readily accessible in an emergency. Your pet's GO Kit should include: First Aid supplies and guide book, a 3 day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water, a safety harness and leash.
3. Waste clean-up supplies, medications and medical records, a contact list of veterinarians and pet care organizations, information on your pet's feeding routine and any behavioral issues, comfort toys and a blanket.
4. Display a Pet Rescue Decal on the front door or window to alert First Responders that there are pets in the house. Include vet's contact information. Pay attention to where your pets like to hide when they're scared. Finding them quickly will help you evacuate faster.
5. Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your recommended area. Keep in mind some shelters may not allow pets. Check out hotels with pet-friendly policies and/or ask friends and relatives if they would consider letting you and your pets stay with them.
6. Carry a photo of your pets in case you get separated.
7. If evacuation is necessary, consider taking a crate carrier if you can for transport and safe-keeping.
The Hill's Food, Shelter, and Love™ Program is a living example of how they prove their mission statement every day and the example is built on four pillars: Volunteer, Donate, Choose, and Adopt.
Hill's Food, Shelter, and Love® Program provided over $280 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters, 365 days a year...assisting over 8 million pets to find a new home. All pets deserve proper, balanced nutrition.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.