Bugging In

Bug-In-Preparedness-pets

Bugging In With Pets

Bug-In-Preparedness-pets

   Finally at long last, my Bugging In post is here! I am pleased to be back blogging with you guys after my hiatus. I have been finishing up school and starting my career in Web Development / Digital Signage. My website for that if you guys were curious is Rainey Day Hosting . If anyone needs any Internet Assistance please let me know. We also do Social Media Marketing. But without further Ado we will commence with the Pet Emergency Preparedness discussion at hand!

economic-prepareness-emergency-pets

This first thing you have probably already considered about bugging-in is, “Do I have enough space?”. For some people this is an easy question to answer. If you don’t live to deep into any major city then the answer is usually “Yes”, However if you are like me and live in a 1,500 Square Feet Town home, the answer might not be as cut and dry. While I would love to have a cabin retreat to hangout at, and to keep all my preps at, money and work make this very hard to do. If you can accomplish this that’s awesome! I will revisit this topic of making a Prepper Retreat a.k.a. Bug Out Location in a later post.

preparedness-emergency-pets-security-survival

The first and biggest concern for me when considering Bugging-In other than space is security. Sometimes what I mean by this is how stable your dwelling is and how impervious it is to unwanted guests should you happen to be gone gathering supplies or fighting zombies. Determining this is pretty easy, just walk around with a clip board and make notes of places that need fixing, windows that need to be sealed, 12 Foot concrete Fences that need to be constructed, etc..  :@) . This will give you a good place to start and it will help you on your electric bill in the summer and gas bill in the winter.

I also get a comforting feeling from knowing that my house is sealed up, bug free, and efficient when it comes to energy use. Then you can go down the list of improvements one by one until it is complete, I recommend doing this first because what good is having a bunch of preps if they are not safe from weather or intruders. Your spouse will just think you are taking care of the house which is usually a positive thing, and it is not directly related to preparedness so you keep those pesky unwanted questions from everyone down to a minimum.

preps-4-pets-bugged-in

Next you want to consider how long you will be Bugging-In for. Most of us including me at first will say “Forever, that is why I am bugging in!”. However in post apocalyptic situations things change and arise almost by the minute, and your plan will change quick. Personally I aim for about 3 months of Bugging In time, this gives the world enough time to deal and accept with whatever changes have happened around you, and depending on your location, enough time for most people to leave the area, or arrive at your retreat area. Staying Put at the beginning of a crisis is a good idea sometimes, and then other times it is completely impossible. Knowing when it is time to stay, and time to go is very crucial to the survival of you and your family. Don’t make hasty decisions if you do not have to, letting things develop around you before you take action can present opportunity’s and otherwise disguised traps and dangers. 

Checklist-preparedness-emergency

So we know that God willing, we will remain home Bugging-In for 3 months. You can follow the guidelines and use the math formulas to determine how much food and water you need, everyone is different depending on the size of your family and how many pets, and their types, you need to provide for. For my family it is Me, my Wife, 2 dogs (Dobby & Benny) and 1 Cat (Biskets) . The Cat is the easiest, 1 – 30 LB bag of food and she is good to go for the 3 months. Throw in a couple bags of treats for good measure and we are off to the races. The dogs are harder to gauge because their store bought food goes stale if i buy to much before they eat it. The average shelf life of Natural Balance is about a month before my dogs start to not like it. I find it I have 2 flavors I can trick them and make it last longer, but this is a unique case. Check out my other post about Stella & Chewies Taste Test & Long Term Food storage for Dogs to get some deeper info on this topic. 

Fully-Supplied-preps-4-pets-prepareness-emergency

Depending on what type of disaster you are preparing for, you need to keep 3 months of those types of supplies. A lot of the different situations will overlap so if you plan for Hurricanes and you get an earthquake instead you will probably be OK. But if you plan for biological disaster and you have an economic fallout some of those items might not transfer as easily. However this creates a perfect situation to convert some items you do not need into barter items. I don’t like to trade bullets or anything that someone can use to come back and take the rest of my preps with!

Protection-preparedness-emergency-trespassing

Once you have your basic 3 months of supplies for food and water down it is time to switch over to First Aid. You should have enough supplies for each pet as well as each human in your house. My general rule is 100 band aides per person and 1 tube / roll / 100 count of medication per person. you can adjust this and apply it to your pet first aid kit. I wrote an article about this, Preps 4 Pets – Pet First Aid Kit which includes a list and directions on how to make one of these for your family. 

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With the 3 most important, in my opinion, supply requirements met and a hardened stable environment to keep it in, this is a good foundation for bugging in. I live outside of Atlanta Georgia and to me the first couple months of evacuation and people trying to make a stand, can go on outside my door while me and my family can hunker down and wait for the “Storm” to Pass.

Air-Rifle-Preparedness-pets-Emergency

One other thing you need is a way to protect yourself. To me there is no better substitute than a good rifle, but each family has their own view on this topic so i will let you guys hash it out. Air rifles are great for hunting small game, and are virtually silent. While they don’t carry a lot of stopping power they will get you a couple rabbits. Get a scope mounted here and buy pellets instead of B.B.S. to get maximum impact. Also people don’t tend to notice people buying buying an air rifle or stocking up on 10 thousand pellets.

Disaster-Plan-Pet-Preparedness-Emergency

With all of these steps met you can be rest assured that you can survive if you stay put until your supplies run out. The best prep is a good plan so think about what you are going to do after all the supplies are gone. Do you stay and replenish? or do you make a run for the country? Maybe stay and try to rebuild the community, determining this will help you try and think about the next step after the initial collapse.


Photo Credits:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48166336@N00/409159632″>Pismo Beach, California, USA</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126917537@N03/15936518111″>First Aid Kit</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/61466848@N03/5726683859″>Qualities of Service</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49672978@N00/405423386″>Pellet1 Stacked.jpg</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/71401718@N00/3140267992″>Fire, Volcanic Ash Fallout, Earthquake, Bomb Threat, Adventurous Resident, Evacuation; Anchorage Pioneer Home Disaser Plan, Alaska, USA</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Prep Test #4 – Pet Stamina w/ BoBs

How Far Can They Go???

Good sized Pack!

Good sized Pack!

   Now that you have made your B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag see earlier Post on making One!) the next step is to test it out. With no Apocalypse going on outside this might seem like a hard thing to do. But what I am talking about is a test on how long your pet can wear the BoB with all the contents in it! Sure you can cram in as many things as you want and I am sure need, but if your pet can’t physically carry the Bag then it’s No Good.

Link to How To Make a Dog B.O.B. ->  https://preps4pets.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/dog-activity-1-dog-bug-out-bag-b-o-b/

Even Small Dogs can have a BoB!!

Even Small Dogs can have a BoB!!

Just like for us humans, dogs can only carry a certain amount. There are many different Types and Sizes of animals so you will have to do a little research with either your specific breed or size. I know, I know, Research… but that is the best way to come across information you would have otherwise never thought to look up in the first place! Anyway, another way to do it is trial an error. Since during the Apocalypse this is the method we use, this is the approach I will use also.

If you follow the instructions in the previous post, that is designed for a 20 lb Beagle, and when I put it on her, she would wear it. But he was scared of the Velcro when removing the pack so I have to be sure it’s packed before I put it on her or else she lays down and Game Over. After that hurtle, she will walk around fine for awhile but gets tired after about 1/2 a mile. Usually this dog could walk into infinity so I know this is too heavy. I replaced the 16 oz water bottles with 8 oz ones and that did the trick. Water is by far the most heavy item in a Dog BoB. Because my dogs are small an 8 oz water a piece would get them through the day. Also we carry water in our Human Bobs and in storage so in a Bug Out situation our 72 hours are more than covered.

Dobby with her properly weighted BoB

Dobby with her properly weighted BoB

Another thing you can do is switch to Dry food instead of Canned dog food. The canned food will last longer in regular types of pet food, but this pack is meant to get your pets from point A to point B Safe, Comfortable, but no in the laps of Luxury! Keep in mind that you also need to store things for your pets in a long term storage plan! That can seem a little overwhelming at first but it’s not nearly as hard as a Human Storage Plan. Food/Water/Treats/Toys/First-Aid are the essentials and most important. You would want to make the time periods match your human stores so everyone is on the same page. If you store 1 year of food for the people but only 1 month for the pets… your going to have a bad situation at some point. The same can be said in reverse too, but it would be the pets that are in the bad situation that time!

Once you have the weight right try it again. Now it should work like a charm and be comfortable for your Dog/Cat. Now the next step is getting them used to wearing it and then increasing the max Time/Distance on Foot they will wear this before they get tired. Practice, Practice, Practice!! The more you do the longer and further your pet will be able to wear their pack!!

Small First Aid Kit

Small First Aid Kit

Link to How to make a Pet First Aid Kit -> https://preps4pets.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/dog-activity-2-pet-first-aid-kit/

After they are completely comfortable with their pack, so much they require it before you go on walks is a good indication, then you can play around more with the contents. do you find its easier for you to carry all the water and load your pets down with food and supplies, then you can modify that way. It’s really up to you on the changes you make as long as you use the items listed in the Dog BoB Post as a good starting point. a lot of good Pet first aid items I find at http://www.amazon.com if you sign up for their Prime membership you can get free shipping and put some things on a schedule to buy every month which gets you a good supply fast! But that’s talk for another Post.

Leave me a Comment!!

Leave me a Comment!!

If some of you have been doing this for awhile let me know how long/far your pets will go with a comment down below!!

Dog Bones #5 – Love OR Treats? What Motivates your Pet?

What Motivates Your Pet?

Benny Will Do ANYthing for a Treat!

Benny Will Do ANYthing for a Treat!

 

Dobby Only Responds To LOVE

Dobby Only Responds To LOVE

 

 Sometimes your pet is going to Freeze or be scared to come to you because of obstacles. It is important you know how to motivate them quickly so you can get to safety in a crisis.  Knowing what “Makes them move” can snap them out of it and get them to you faster. In some of your home emergency drills overturn some chairs and setup a kind of course that is safe but definitely out of the norm for them. This will get them used to having to think as they go, and supplement their critical thinking. Also it gets them used to change!

Unexpected House Fires start all the Time!

Unexpected House Fires start all the Time!

 

       Change to a dog sometimes is just as catastrophic as our house burning down because they are creatures of habit. This might be the reason they freeze but I would be willing to bet that fear is mixed in their as well.  Think about how horses are trained to jump over, or zigzag through barrels or hurdles. I bet they can maneuver quick in the woods or in an earthquake!  

Amazing Critical Thinking!

Amazing Critical Thinking!

 

      As shown above and you might know by now, I have 2 Dogs (Dobby & Benny).  Benny will do anything including shoving me down the stairs head first if I was in the way of her beloved Treats. She will eat as many as she can, then get sick, and eat another 20 (Hypothetically of course!). Upon going to Bed she dreams of mountains of treats, never ending morsels for her to devour! Dobby on the other hand wants most to be touched or to be laying touching you. she likes treats, but it is not something I would say motivates her. 

Benny's Dream Come True!!

Benny’s Dream Come True!!

 

     When Dobby was a puppy she snuck out of the house while i was bringing in groceries. I took about 10-20 minutes before I realized she was gone because I was putting up the food. My wife an I ran outside with toys and calling her name, we found her pretty fast. she was hiding under a bush right next to the front door! we took her inside and she cried a lot, howled even! we tried giving her treats but all she wanted was to lay on me and snuggle my neck and cry. To this very day she does the same thing all the time, when she wants to take a nap or just lounging. It bugs her to death if I am writing my blog lets say and she can’t lean up against my feet.

The Treat gets Him every time!!

The Treat gets Him every time!!

 

     So in a fire, for Dobby all I would have to do is make sure there was a path she could get through and she would come to me no problem. Benny might or might not, but if I was to pull a treat out of my pocket, she would run through the fire singeing her hair and tail with no second thought.  Dobby is our pack leader also though, and a lot of times Benny follows Dobby becuase she knows that is her place so in the pecking order of things we would all get out if we could.

We Run to Freedom & Escape!

We Run to Freedom & Escape!

 

    Knowing this ahead of time makes all the difference in the world. since I know how it goes my main focus would be on getting Dobby to come to me because Benny would follow. Together we would all escape and be happy. All I would need to be sure of is Dobby.  But what if me and Dobby go out first and I have to go back for Benny?? Then I would grab some treats on my way back or something that would make her think I have some! (Rocks in a plastic jar, when shaken does the trick)

Just Dobby, this guy just wants to be Close!

Just Dobby, this guy just wants to be Close!

 

    Between me and my wife, Benny is her responsibility and Dobby is mine. Obviously if only 1 person is home then we do both, and the cat comes back on me also. but working this kind of stuff out now keeps us from panicking when we really need to act. By having a task it cuts the fear and shock, and helps push us into React mode. Once again I am being shown that by taking care of our animals I am taking care of both my Wife and I at the same time. Who really is in charge anyway??  

      

Dog/Cat Activity #3 – Making a Plan

Make A Plan! 

Plan

           Sometimes, and all us preppers do this, we do a lot of learning and reading but we forget to make a plan.  All of our hard work and long nights gets applied when we start making a list of the things we need, a plan to evacuate with our family & Pets from a house fire, and having everything ready to go. Now I know that being prepared is an on-going process, but you need to at least put down the basics of what actions you would take in case of an emergency & share them with the whole family. It doesn’t do any good to make a plan, organize your preps, and then when the emergency happens, everything gets left behind because you weren’t home, and no one else knew what to do!

           Here are a few simple steps to get you setup for success! Remember you can go far and wide with making a plan, getting as super detailed as you want, but getting started is the most important part.

List

  1. Bug Out List – I know what your thinking, “We did this for our Dogs BOB already” but this list is about which bags to grab, which color bag goes with who, and how to pack your Long Term Storage(Humans & Pets) to take along with you. Keep the list somewhere handy and the BOBs for everyone all together, so you or who ever is at the house can Easily & Efficiently get all the Preps, Pets, & People to safetyFire
  2. Safe Location(Fire or Immediate Threat) – Similar to the plan, you want to establish a safe place to evacuate too. in the case of a fire my family always said meet at the mailbox, which was about 500+ feet away from the house. this will differ for you because everyone’s living space is unique! Once you have decided share it with everyone that lives in your home. If you live in an Apartment or large housing development, you could post a sign on the bulletin board, with no name attached, saying “In case of Fire Meet HERE”. You would be so surprised how many Apartment complexes that don’t have any plan in place. Imagine if you didnt have a plan, but you saw this on the board and it saved your life! Also i say “No name Attached” because if you announce it was you, then people (Official or not) will come asking questions and destroy your OSPEC.Bunker
  3. Safe Location (Bugging Out)This is the more long-term solution for something like Economic collapse or a zombie invasion. All of these plans you will keep to yourself & those of you that are in your Preparedness Group/Family. you definitely don’t want to post your private getaway on the board, because then everyone will show up and you WILL have a problem. Figure out your location ahead of time, and if it is a friend/family members house make sure to store some supplies there. you don’t want to show up and use Preps that aren’t yours! So in advance you could (Space allowing) Keep your more long term food storage for you and the pets, comfort items, protection(Weapons for humans) etc. Some of us have a bunker to retreat to,others will probably stay with grandparents, again this varies on your situation.Practice
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice!!! I cant stress this enough! once you have some plans in place, randomly do drills to get everyone familiar with them. this includes, and even more important, your animals. It’s like training a dog to sit, once they know what to do they will remember and feel comfortable doing it. this will lower stress, confusion, and extra complexities that an emergency event will cause for your pets! The same is true for little kids, if you can make it like a game in a time of safety, then when it really matters they will comply. One side note concerning HUMANS – Don’t OVER practice! what i mean here is don’t have a fire drill at 1pm everyday. this falls into the category of the boy who cried wolf. You want to insure the sense of urgency around emergency events, and not “its just another drill”. so about Once a Month is enough practice! I know its hard to fight the urge to do it more often! Pets – Creatures of Habit. you could practice 10 times a day, everyday, and they will never have a diminished sense of emergency! Animals can sense danger and they will know there is trouble.FamChain
  5. Discuss With Family – Make sure that everyone in your household knows the plans, and how to execute them in case you are not there when the event takes place. if you have a large family you can make 1 person accountable for 1 animal, and this chain will create a safety net to make sure everyone gets out OK. In my house we have 3 animals. 2 dogs 1 cat. My wife is in charge of the dogs because one follows the other and they both follow her. The cat will only come to me, so therefore its my responsibility to get her out! I have seen this same system work with families of just people and it works great. Dad keeps track of Mom, Mom keeps track of the Oldest child, Oldest Keeps track of next Oldest etc. Now if i could get my pets to do this on their own that wouldbe amazing!!

 

This is a great starting point for getting everyone, Pet & Person, in your home on track with how to handle an emergency. Just like everything else, the more you put In the more you get Out! But also remember no to over do it and make emergencies seem like a hassle or unimportant.With BOBs, a Plan, and a SAFE location, you take away the panic of a fire, hurricane, even Zombie Apocalypse!