Sunday, October 23, 2005

Animal Disaster Plan

From Cheryl Faulkenburry, Animal Behavior Expert
Center Hill School.

Listening to the plight of all the animals after Katrina, I’m worried about my own animals if a disaster should ever strike our area. Is there anything that I can do to be more prepared?

It’s always good to be prepared in case of any emergency. Most people think of preparing for their family, but they often overlook the needs of their furry family. Make sure you have three days of food and water set aside for your pets.

Put any medications, a leash, collar, toys, treats, and copies of vaccination records in a Ziploc bag and keep with the food. Include written instructions for the care of your pet- type and amount of food, medication amounts (if any), their normal routine (how often they go potty, what they like to play, etc.), and emergency numbers for people in your area as well as outside of your area who may be able to care for your pets in an emergency.

Check with your local Administration Office and see if there is a disaster plan in place that includes pets. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to bring a crate and the emergency kit that you’ve set aside so all the instructions are with the animal as well as their shot records.

Always make sure your animals have ID tags on their collars. Evacuation shelters are set up only during a “Declared Disaster,” not during every storm. Stay tuned to your radio to find out if there is a declared disaster in your area when storms approach.

Also have a list of animal-friendly hotels or friends houses outside of your area where you can evacuate with your animals if needed. You may want to leave before an evacuation is required to avoid the last minute rush and decrease the stress on everyone involved. If you have a destination set up ahead of time, you will know exactly where to go and can calmly take your family to safety where you can all stay together until the dangers pass. Take the time to plan and care for your family.

Remember that an emergency may not only be a natural disaster. You may end up in the hospital and need someone to go in and care for your animals. If you have everything necessary set aside in one place, this makes it easier for the caretaker.

It’s also a good idea to put a card in your wallet explaining that you have animals at home that need care if you are incapacitated. Be sure to list an emergency contact so someone can be contacted to care for your animals and where the supplies may be found. Being prepared for the unexpected will give you peace of mind during a very stressful time. Don’t wait until disaster strikes -- sit down with your family and make a plan today that includes everyone.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Living For Today

by Donna L. Watkins

© Donna L. Watkins - Wren

I've lived most of my life
... thinking about
... planning for
... worrying over
the future!

It's easier to get away with doing this rather than thinking about and worrying over the past. It's obvious we can't change the past, so we can easily see how much of a waste it is to dwell in the past, but dwelling in the future is just as wasteful.

Maybe people who like to be in control of things dwell on the future, assuming if they think and plan and ponder it long enough they can get exactly what they want out of it.

Actually most of the thoughts, plans and worries are based on the past - not making the same mistakes or not doing what somebody else in your family has done. The past is something we definitely can't change, but how we respond to it is a big choice of who we become in this life.

There are plenty of books to tell you how to get what you want out of life ... as if life is about getting what you want. When has that ever consistently happened for any human being? Seems like a futile purpose to me.

I do believe that having plans and hopes and dreams are good for us, but we must hold them lightly as Christians because our ultimate desire should be to be more Christ-like and that is the ultimate end to our purpose on earth.

Our real life is in eternity. That's where all the fulfillment and rewards will come. Don't let the television and magazine advertising make you believe it's all about YOU and making this life what you want of it. If we have given our life to God, we are to let go of control and walk in the steps of Jesus. We can surely affect the future by the choices we make based on our past. How we respond to events in our past can determine what we may be able to get out of the future.

Circumstances will sometimes cause people to make vows.

"I'll never be like ... "
"Nobody is going to ever be able to hurt me like that again."
"I'm not going to make any more mistakes and my life will be perfect."
"My family is not going to be like the one I grew up in."
"Every thing I try to do fails. I'm not going to dream again."

Don't base your future on what your past has offered you. How you respond to things makes a big difference. That's why the Word says not to let the sun go down on your wrath. Never go to bed with issues not resolved in your own mind and heart. As much as it's possible live peaceably with all men. Don't go on to another day if there is any unforgiveness from a previous day of your life. The devil will weave it into a straight-jacket on you!

You don't have to accept what somebody has done to forgive them. You are simply choosing to allow God to handle the results of the offense and you are freeing yourself from the bondage and life-altering power that unforgiveness brings.

Ask God now where you've allowed the enemy to build a strong wall around your life due to past events and your responses to them. Resolve those issues today .... better yet, NOW!

" Our thoughts are silent words that only we and the Lord hear, but those words affect our inner man, our health, our joy and our attitude." --- Joyce Meyer

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