Although Springtime is when I talk PET DISASTER PREPAREDNESS, September is given that distinction for the human species.  Without people getting ready, reacting and working towards recovery, our pets would have little to no chance of surviving many natural disasters.  That is why I hope to make an impact on you today talking about human lives and structural damage, while reminding you that:

It is not IF a disaster will affect you, but rather WHEN!

When disasters happen, only 10-15% of humans react appropriately, so other than a miracle, the only way you, and your two-legged, four pawed or hooved, feathered, finned and/or scaled family can survive is to be:



1)     READY

as in GET READY to handle whatever may come your way before it happens.


2)    REACT

The emergency is unfolding…what do you do now?



Imminent danger has passed (although turmoil remains).  You and your employees must recover from the trauma, regroup, heal and rebuild.


Let’s revisit the past year.  I have been trying to keep tabs, yet there are many smaller to medium-sized events I’m not including in this list:

  • Less than 2 weeks ago (August 23), Tropical Storm Lane barreled into the Big Island of Hawaii. Over 5 days, Lane dropped a torrential 51+ inches of rain on the mainland. People and pets had to dodge mudslides and rescues were needed to save lives.  Just four days ago, on the heels of Lane, Miriam fortunately weakened into a Category 1 storm but there is another 3 months of Hurricane season to go!


  • July saw California in flames – once again! It was just a year ago, when my family departed the Golden State, that fires ravaged more than 10 million acres, even burning to the ground the home directly behind the one we had just sold in Southern California.


  • About this same time last year, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Maria barreled into the U.S. causing more than $306 billion in damages with more than 1,000 lives lost.

  • Beginning this past July 23rd, 17 active fires caused grave destruction and ultimately resulted in 8 deaths! The Carr Fire, the 7th most destructive in history, destroyed in excess of 650 homes and required 12,000 firefighting personnel to be on the scene.  How great that they came from 16 states to help, but think of the lives that will never be the same…


  • Also that month, flooding and mudslides resulted from 3X the normal rainfall (in just a few days) in Southwestern Japan. More than 100 people died while 2 million abandoned their homes and possessions. 70,000 emergency responders worked hard to help those they could.

  • June 3rd, Mt. Fuego, Guatemala, experienced a volcanic eruption covering buildings, cars, trees, people and animals with ash. Two million were affected by this pyroclastic flow that destroyed streets, bridges and lives.  More than 33 humans died from this river of lava, rocks and ash that glowed orange as it poured down the mountain burying all in its path.


  • One-month prior, May 3rd, saw the eruption of Mt. Kilauea in Hawaii. Three days earlier, a volcanic crater collapsed causing lava to pour down the slopes.  This set off a chain of small fissures and earthquakes.  A 4.4 magnitude quake near the base of the mountain sent ash spurting 10,000 ft. in the air, followed by a 5.5 quake hit the summit a week later.  500 quakes in a 24-hour period!  I don’t know how many of you have experienced a quake, but after the ’94 Northridge Quake, that I remember well, the hours found us with rattled nerves as each successive aftershock rumbled. During the Kilauea eruption, 280 homes were destroyed, 1,700 people (and pets) had to flee their homes and those not directly affected, suffered migraines and worse from inhaling sulfur dioxide as their beautiful countryside was covered in a LAZE (lava and gasses).


  • Nearly the same time, the Florida Panhandle was visited by Tropical Storm Alberto which killed two in its wake. 13,000 were without power and flash floods caused devastation all the way to North Carolina, with Florida, Alabama and Mississippi declared states of emergency.


Shall I continue to convince you of your need to get prepared?


  • Earlier in May, India was subjected to high winds, lightning and major dust storms causing more than 125 people to lose their lives!


  • Cyclone Josie hit Fiji on March 31st causing 4 deaths, 1,800 evacuations and 74 closed roads.


  • Still recurring in March (but initially starting in January), New England’s historic bomb cyclone continued to dump snow and ice in places that rarely receive wintry precipitation. Massive flooding resulted in 2 million homes without power, 4,000 grounded flights and 9 people dead.


  • Late February found the people of Papua, New Guinea dealing with not only a 7.5 magnitude quake, but also a 6.5 aftershock. People were left homeless with no access to food and water and $61 million in damages.  There were upwards of 160 casualties but aftershocks caused many building collapses in which this number climbed.

  • One-thousand homes were destroyed in the February 16th  Oaxaca 7.2 Earthquake.


  • Forty-thousand homes and $21 million in damages occurred during the Hualian, Taiwan 6.4 tembler as well as 17 deaths.


  • A January 17th windstorm in Friederike, Germany, including parts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK killed 13 while…


  • The January 9th Montecito mudslides killed 21, destroyed 129 homes and damaged 300 more! The slides were a result of the Thomas Fires that burned almost 300,00 acres the month prior and took several lives.


  • Before that, 81 confirmed tornadoes hit the Gulf States in a two-day period and a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked Mexico, killing more than 200 while a deadly mudslide killed just as many in Columbia.


I think you get my message…IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL! And that means FAIL your furry best friends too!  Don’t delay any longer for all of your family members’ sakes!  Get together supplies, write and re-write your emergency plan, practice drills with ALL family members and by all means…


The Pet Safety Crusader's My Pet & Me Guide to Pet Disaster PAWparednessThe Pet Safety Crusader's My Pet & Me Guide to Pet Disaster PAWparedness


Read The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness.  Even if you don’t have pets, this book will set you on the right track for saving humans.


And check out my Disaster PAWparedness Pack!




If you do better by listening, or as a complement to your reading, please head on over to my Certificate Course in Disaster Preparedness, made possible by the wondeRUFFul humans at Pet Sitters International.  Pet Sitter or not, they are offering a PAWmazing special during the month of September on lots of educational opportunities, and my Disaster Preparedness Course is 25% off, so SIGN UP TODAY!  Details at: .


Please…don’t wish you HAD taken the time to learn DISASTER PREPAREDNESS


Listen to my VLOG on this topic: