Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things we've learned in past hurricanes

Jake the Weatherdog's Mom here.

This feels really strange. Usually we are in the "cone of uncertainty" -- not to be confoosed with the "cone of shame" our poor pups sometimes have to wear --and getting ready for a hurricane that may or may not happen. Instead, we are seeing our hero, Brian Norcross on the Weather Channel, spread the word that something really dangerous is about to happen to millions of people who may not have seen a hurricane in decades -- if ever.

Friends, listen to Brian and to the others. Mr. Norcross is a hero to us because when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami in 1992, he stayed up through the whole event and kept everyone informed and hopeful. I remember, huddling in my downstairs bathroom as the roof lifted off over half of the upstairs, that his words --"just another 15 minutes, folks!" -- kept lots of people sane.

Here are a few things we've learned. First, if you prepare and it is less than you thought, be happy not mad. Lots of people get upset because they say, we did all this and nothing happened. That's a good thing! Be prepared!

Before the storm hits, we always make sure we have foodables and snacks that don't need cooking for humans and canines. And a manual can opener. As Asta said, peanut butter and treats and toys are essential!!! Most of this is in anticipation of the power going out and stayng out for a longer-than-usual time.

Lots (at least a gallon per day per person and dogs for several days) of bottled water -- including, in case the pumping system goes out, extra water in a bathtub for varied uses, including flushing. We fill large empty water bottles with water and freeze them for ice to be used in a cooler or two with food from the fridge if the power stays out for a long while. Some folks have a small sterno stove for cooking once the storm has passed. -- We have an outside grill, so that works for us.

Flashlights with extra batteries. Portable radio or TV with extra batteries.

Paper plates and cups to avoid using dishes that have to be washed.

Big plastic bags, both to cover valuables pre-storm and then use to pick up junk if necessary after.

Since I hate being in the dark, and since regular candles can be dangerous in case of wind, I stock up on the 24-hour memorial candles that come in little glass containers and can be stood in a sink or pot for extra safety. Medicines, of course.

I often make coffee and put it into a thermos or two to have later, after the power has gone out.

Then, during the storm, stay away from windows! Get into an inside room if at all possible, Humans, dogs, cats -- everyone -- with flashlights and either a battery-powered radio or TV, water, and whatever else to be comfortable.

We've never had flooding,and that's a whole other concern that requires even more preparation, if you're somewhere that may flood. And we have pull-close and roll-down shutters, but since most folks don't -- stay away from the windows and protect valuables that may be affected if windows break. Also,we have a landline phone because, in the past, it worked when cell phones didn't.

And cash -- lots of cash! And gas in your cars!

I get really anxious, but I've learned that knowing where everything is and doing whatever makes sense helps us all stay calm.

Please stay safe dear friends!!!! We'll be with you all in our thoughts as the weekend unrolls.

Joan and the Barkalots

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I must have been sleeping in class...

Jake the Weatherdog here again.

It's the same bittersweet story whenever a hurry cane is in the offing. It's happened so many times to us. Once we realize we're not in the path -- as now -- we breathe a sigh of relief and then turn our worry towards all those who are in the path. For now Irene is clearly going to devastate the beautiful Bahamas -- 29 islands off our coast -- as a Category 3 hurricane. And then call on North Carolina barrier islands and the Northeast -- all the way up to Maine. So those living in these areas are in our thoughts because we know too well what these storms bring. Mom went through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 before she had Dogdad and us to keep her safe (and today is the anniversary of that powerful Category 5 storm); JH was abandoned when Katrina hit Florida in 2005 before moving on to the Gulf Coast and that's how he came to live with us; and we all went through Hurricane Wilma together later that year.

But yesterday, I realized that I must have been snoozing in weather school because all of a sudden instead of hurry canes, the weather folks were talking about an earth cake... whose center was right near where Gussie and Teka live -- and was felt where lots of our other pals live.

Mom has always said she'd rather know when a hurry cane is on the way so she can prepare; some folks, however, are so experienced with earth cakes that they just shrug. We wonder what our pals think. Hurry cane? Earth cake? (Not to forget tornados, floods, ice storms, heat waves, etc.)

We're just glad no one was hurt by this surprising event.

And I guess I'll have to go back to weather school.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rut Roh....

Jake the Weatherdog here. Yep, we all know it's that time of the year -- and this morning we awoke to tropical storm/hurricane warnings for Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands --- and South Florida later in the week. The potential visitor's name is Irene. And we are hoping that she will heed the words of that classic song: "Good night, Irene, Good Night!" and decide just to take a gentle, if rainy, snooze...