Rebirth and Compassion Starts with Ourselves.

With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose. ― Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
 
full moon
Reflecting about what happened under the Full Moon this weekend

Katrina. 10 years later.

As I reflect back on what happened a decade ago my feeble words cannot come close to describing what thousands of souls experienced that fateful day and the following long months.   And honestly, no one wants to hear all of that.  It’s too much.  But I can share a tiny glimpse into what my animal companions and I endured, in hopes of bringing awareness and opening hearts.  I hope that by sharing part of my story others can heal, too.


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“You cannot un-hear what you have heard. You cannot un-see what you have seen. What you can do, however, is stop wishing that whatever happened in the past hadn’t happened.”

A decade ago the world watched the city, people, and animals of New Orleans suffer unimaginable terror, pain, and destruction.  It was one of the biggest national disasters, and total lack of national and local response on record.   What did we learn from it all?

Countless lessons.

One poignant lesson that pet guardians learned the hard way during and after this tragedy was simple but vital:  If it isn’t safe for you to stay, it isn’t safe for your animals.  They are family members.  Do not leave them behind!

I left someone behind.


Fate Took Over

That fateful day, I was at work with my Audubon Zoo colleagues, preparing to welcome hundreds of conference attendees and speakers.  We were hosting the annual American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) conference that weekend; an event we had been planning for years.  Our guests were arriving that day.

Hurricane Katrina was arriving, too.

Hurricane Katrina

As the dismal weather reports continued to flood in, we knew that instead of welcoming our guests with New Orleans sunshine and celebration, they would be welcomed with a category 4 or 5 storm.  As we prepared for our guests while listening to the news reports, we soon learned that Katrina was quickly changing course and headed right toward us. We were going to have to relocate ourselves and our pets to the hotel downtown where our conference guests were scheduled to stay.

But as Katrina changed course and complications came up, I was forced to leave home, like so many souls.

I use the word forced, but that’s only how it felt.  No one kidnapped me and drove me away from my beloved city.   I did what I had to do, and I acted on the best interest of many people and pets.  The conference delegates were now stranded in a city that was about to be ravaged by the storm of the century, so we had to get them, and ourselves to safety.  On top of that pressure, a dearly beloved canine and her people – my very good friends – needed my help.


The General Curator of the zoo was the leader of our Hurricane Team, and his wife was the director and CEO of the Louisiana SPCA, so they were both staying behind to lead their teams.  One of their dogs had recently been severely injured in a dog fight with another dog in their household.  Since Dan and Laura were staying behind with their teams, and the combative dogs couldn’t be evacuated together, the canines needed to be split up for their safety.  One of the dogs was in really bad shape and needed constant medical care, but it was not an option to leave her with our zoo’s veterinary staff; the Hurricane Team would have their hands full after the storm hit, and they had finite resources.

I adored and greatly respected both Dan and Laura.  And when I was needed, I cared for their dogs.  File’ (pronounced Feelay), the dog in need, had my whole heart.   As if that wasn’t motivation enough to do the right thing, I was also written into their will to take care of their house and dogs, in the event anything happened to them. So of course I would evacuate with File’.  Dan and Laura and the dogs were family.  I loved them all.  I would just add sweet File’ to the overgrowing caravan of people and pets. We would be fine!

Dog fight scars
File’ was badly injured and needed to be evacuated.

Now that a severely injured File’ was in the picture, relocating myself and my animal companions to the hotel downtown with my zoo colleagues and the conference attendees was not an option for me.  I had to leave. And we had to leave quickly.  From what we were told, we had hours to get out.


I remember very little about how things went down.  (Fear creates a muddy memory.)  But I vaguely remember being more afraid than I had ever felt before.  I remember feeling a panic steadily creeping into my chest.   Hell, everyone was scare and on edge.  Even my tough, always-oh-so-professional boyfriend and colleagues who were staying behind to “ride it out” as the Zoo Hurricane Team were nervous.   And frankly, none of us wanted to leave.  That was the last damn thing I wanted to do.  This was my home.  We were New Orleanians.  We don’t run.  We deal.  We can handle anything.

Katrina, and the epic failure of the city’s levee system, were not something that could be handled.

Eventually I accepted my fate of having to evacuate with strangers, a severely injured dog (who hated cats), three cats; one of whom recently adopted us (and who I wasn’t fond of), and a turtle.  I said goodbye to the Hurricane Team and my colleagues, invited strangers into my car, picked up File’ and her medical gear, and left the zoo.  We drove to my house a few miles away and started the oh-so-dramatic, pressured-filled process of evacuating; something I had never done (or considered doing) before.

I felt like we were running for our lives.


Moving quotes_relocation

The curator of mammals was a good friend of mine, so she offered to evacuate her animal menagerie in a caravan behind me so we could be there to support one another.  She met us at my house after she gathered her critter crew (and as many conference delegates as she could cram into her car).   She arrived at my house to find me wandering around aimlessly with nothing accomplished.   None of the cats or turtle were packed up. I was spinning my wheels with nothing to show for it.   In hindsight I can see that I didn’t know what I was doing.  I was acting out of pure fear and panic.  I couldn’t process what was happening, and I was scared.

As if a category 4 hurricane barreling towards us wasn’t enough, one week earlier I had returned from a nightmare of a trip.  My family and I had been at the nationally televised trial of a serial killer.  This monster, who had tortured and murdered one of our family members, was finally brought to justice.  I hadn’t even had time to process all that my family witnessed and learned during the trial.

Now this.

Being true to my procrastinating nature, I still hadn’t unpacked my suitcase from that difficult trip.  As I continued to wander in circles, my friend zipped up my unpacked suitcase, grabbed the cat carriers, and started filling up the bathtub with water (apparently we weren’t taking Little David, the turtle with us).   I had no idea what was happening.   I was still trying to process what was unfolding at what felt like warp speed.

But I did notice that Samantha, my beloved semi-feral black cat was no where to be found.

Samantha felt and heard the stress of the scene and left the house. This couldn’t have been worse timing.

I didn’t have hours to look for her.  I had minutes.

I honestly don’t remember a lot about that day, but I do remember searching for her everywhere inside and outside of the house.  I remember yelling for her over and over.  I remember hearing panic in my voice.  Standing outside shaking her “kitty crack” treats, (the one thing she could never resist) I prayed desperately that she would come running to me.

I finally realized that she had no intention of coming to me with all of the commotion that was happening in the house, in the driveway, and everywhere else around her home.   I decided I would wait for her to come to me.  I would just sit and wait and she would come eventually, and I would get her into her cat carrier.   Then we could leave.

She never came.


Leaving My Beloved Behind

I remember driving away sobbing uncontrollably.  I could barely breathe, let alone drive.  But I cannot remember why I left without her.  I honestly cannot remember the thoughts I had. I have no idea how I was able to justify it in my mind.  I don’t know exactly why I felt I had no other choice.  (Fear and panic tends to muddy the waters in your mind and you forget these kinds of things.)   Maybe I had to make that heartbreaking decision because we had such a small window to evacuate before the storm was on top of us; we would be stuck on the highway and bridges as Katrina came ashore.  Maybe it was because of a severely injured dog that needed help.  Maybe it was because of the two other cats, the strangers, colleagues, the pressure, and the feeling of having no other choice.

Regardless of why, leaving Samantha was the choice I made that day.

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Looking Back

Leaving my dearly beloved Samantha behind is a decision that has haunted me, and pained my heart to this day.

Although she and I were eventually reunited during the third time I came back into the city to look for her, she paid the price of my decision to evacuate without her.  The terror and emotional and physical trauma she endured during that month alone eventually took her life a decade later. (One day I will write a fascinating post on how we know this.)   Despite our long separation and what she endured, the bright side of it all was that we were reunited. We were both done running, and doing our best to survive.  We had to relocated to a new home, but we were finally safe.

Finally back together again.

To this day, all of these events are something that I still cannot recall.  I don’t remember any details. In fact, I don’t remember much; my mind won’t let me remember.  For years I still had to remind myself that I did find her.  I found her.  I went to unimaginable lengths to search for her, and I found her.  She was found.   Alive.

Samantha


Lessons Learned

Katrina Rescue Pets

As an educator and behavior consultant, I now passionately teach others that proper planning before disaster strikes can help you remain calm and panic free in an otherwise overwhelming and stressful situation.  It will ensure your animal companions’ safety.  It will give you peace of mind.  I teach this to others now because I had none of that a decade ago.  I didn’t know what to expect, and I had no clue what it meant to “be prepared with pets”.

There were very few in our city (and nation) who were prepared.

But the few that were prepared, saved the lives of many, and brought peace and hope to countless souls.  These people learned from those who came before them; they learned from the mistakes and success of other who weathered previous storms. They learned how to be ready for the worst.  They were ready and they did what no one had ever done before.   Those who were prepared, and who responded to the chaos shined like diamonds.  These people were some of the greatest heroes our city had ever seen.  The Audubon Zoo’s Hurricane Team and the Louisiana SPCA were two of these bright diamonds.

Laura Maloney_SPCA_louisiana_new Orleans _Katrina

As I reflect back on that life-changing event, I realize that my decisions at the time, and that of our team’s, would indeed be those of the life and death kind and our leadership skills were tested in ways that I wouldn’t have imagined. – Laura Maloney, former director of the Louisiana SPCA

(You can read more about Laura’s lessons in leadership during a crisis here. )

Katrina Audubon Zoo Hurricane Team A and B
Great people doing great things during great challenges: Our Zoo’s Hurricane Teams (A and B) -Team A stayed through the storm. The rest of us came back later into our city as their relief team.

 If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

As life unfolds, we are bound to have heartache.  We find ourselves in situations we would never consciously choose.  But if we are wise enough, we learn from our mistakes, and misjudgments.  We live and we learn.  We make better choices for ourselves and others.   We see things in a new light.  We have another perspective.  We grow.  We forgive.

That fateful life chapter changed my life, Samantha’s life, and countless others in innumerable ways – some for the better; some we would gladly give back.   Looking back a decade later, I know I would have done so many things differently.  I would have never left her.  I would have waited for her.  But those choices aren’t an option now.   All I can do today is ask her for forgiveness.  I know she hears me from beyond this world. I know she holds no grievances. I know she has forgiven me.

More importantly, I have forgiven myself.

Two nights ago I laid in bed unable to sleep, thinking about everything my friends, colleagues, and myself witnessed and endured pre and post Katrina.  Until the decade “anniversary”, I never allowed myself to dwell on the past.  Not until now.   As my dear friend Laura so eloquently explains, Like many New Orleanians, I haven’t dug up Katrina memories; we tend to move on rather than look back.

I don’t believe in looking back, but this weekend my past caught up with me.  It was time for me to face it.

Laying in bed, sitting there with all of it, I couldn’t look away.  I felt panic setting in again.  I felt the overwhelming grief, sadness, pain, and judgement of my decision.   I needed to understand the “whys?” of leaving Samantha behind.  How could I make that choice?!?  Why?!  How could I?! How did I??

And why was this coming up for me to remember now?

I tried to push it away.  It was too difficult.  Overwhelming.  I asked and asked why, but I never heard the answers I wanted so desperately to hear.   So instead, I prayed for the strength to endure the heartache and pain.  Suddenly a deep and comforting presence of calm came over me and I clearly heard:  Have compassion for yourself.  

Compassion for myself was the last thing I thought I deserved.

Then I remembered that compassion is what I freely give to animals, children, nature, my family,friends, clients, and strangers.  Compassion heals.  Compassion opens hearts.  Compassion is how we forgive.   After everything I had gone through I needed to give compassion to myself.


REBIRTH

As I continued to contemplate the idea of compassion, I  remembered that compassion was what helped New Orleans to heal after the storm.  Compassion was what we New Orleanians gave to strangers, and what strangers gave to us when we were rebuilding.   Compassion was our glue.  Compassion was part of our Rebirth.

New orleans Second line Katrina

As I thought about how much love and compassion we felt during the darkest days, I was reminded that no matter what we experienced as individuals in that challenging chapter of life, we overcame it.   We made the best of it.  We grew stronger within ourselves and with each other.

We came TOGETHER.
We cried.
We laughed.
We loved hard.
We danced.
We rebuilt.
We. Were. Rebirth.

New orleans Katrina Halloween
One month after Katrina ravaged our city, we celebrated Halloween and made the best out of challenges we endured.

Compassion

Most importantly, this weekend I finally realized that the only thing we “need to do” is have total and complete compassion for ourselves, in all of life’s challenges.  We need to have compassion for what we endured and overcame – and what we are still enduring.   No matter what choices we made, we made the best ones we could at the time.  We did the best we could do at that time.   And that is O.K.  There’s no one to blame.  No judgement.  Only compassion.

Full Moon_compassion_self Love Quotes_conscious Companion


As you walk your path in life, my prayer for you is this:

May your soul heal from the challenges in life.

May the heartbreaks and setbacks be brief.

May your heart and mind only know peace.

May you never be afraid to live your life with a full and open heart.

May your heart always be able to love more, give more, and accept more.

May the trials and tribulations in your life be transmuted by the healing fires of forgiveness and love.

May you have an endless supply of compassion for yourself, and remember that you are doing the best you can.

firepit

Don’t dwell on the past; Live and love for today.   


And in case you were wondering what’s happened to our beloved city Ten years after Katrina, New Orleans is back – as loud and flamboyant as ever !!!

Are You Prepared? How to Evacuate with Your Animal Companion



JUNE 2013

hurricane
The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 until the end of November.  This year’s season is expected to be a very busy season.

Prepare Now.

Tornados, floods, fires and hurricanes, oh my!  We don’t expect them, but they do happen. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 until November 30.  This week (May 24-30) is National Hurricane Preparedness Week.   Please take a moment to mark this on your calendar.   This week is a time of the year that we all need to make note of every year, especially if you have a family, and one that includes animal companions.

Planning and preparing will save your family a load of stress, and could even save lives.   Officials advise to not wait until a storm is already in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean to gather supplies and make a plan for your family – pets and people.  The start of the hurricane season is the best time to do this.

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Our Hurrications

As Hurricane Season gets rolling, I’m reflecting on the countless “hurrications” and abrupt evacuations my animal companions and I have endured since 2000 from Louisiana to Washington, D.C. to North Carolina.  While I review the past, present, and future statistics I think of my loved ones that are in Louisiana, North Carolina, and all along the Gulf and East Coast, and I find myself remembering the anxiety and stress that I experienced 6 months out of the year while living in Louisiana for nearly 20 years.

Most of that anxiety was self-induced.  Procrastination is to blame.  It was, unfortunately, my nature to wait until the very last minute to do most things, especially if they were important.   The Clash’s famous song was my official theme song every time a storm barreled closer to the coast.  Not only did I mastered the art of procrastination, but I was never been the best at organizing or preparing for trips, not to mention sudden or imminent natural disasters.

Fires are sudden and unexpected reasons for evacuating

That has always been the case until I had to literally run for my life with my animal companions’ lives in tow many times from hurricanes and fires (more than once for each of these natural disasters).

I’ll admit it: It took more than a few natural disasters before I got my act together.  That is one of the many reasons why I created this blog.  My hope is to help others learn from my mistakes and to be prepared for anything.

Even if you don’t have an animal menagerie as large as ours, you’ll need to plan ahead and prepare for each of your companion animals.  Our animals are members of our families.  We have a responsibility to take care of them by preparing for them.  Until they are able to pack up their own stuff into little backpacks, we, as their guardians, have been given this responsibility and need to take it very seriously.


Evacuation Kits

Make a checklist of the items below.  Keep them in a water proof bin ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Keep everything accessible and stored in sturdy containers that can be carried easily.  [You can download this evacuation checklist HERE: Conscious Companion Evacuation Kit ]

  • Current photos of you with your animal companions – including descriptions of them to help others identify them in case you and your animals become separated—and to prove that they are yours once you’re reunited.
  •  Stay up to date with animal vaccinations.  Make copies of all recent vaccination records (for each animal) and bring a copy of these records with you.
  • Proper I.D. & Vaccination Tags – It is imperative that your companion wears his or her ID tags at all times so they can be properly identified, if you are separated.  Maintaining up-to-date identification information on tags is critical.  Put your cell phone number on the tag.  Include numbers of a friend or relative outside your immediate area.  Microchips are an excellent tool because if their collar falls off, your animal companion has a built-in identification system.
  •  Written information about your animals’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
  • Collars
  • Sturdy leashes & harnesses
  • Transport carriers – Collapsible or sturdy options 
  • Water bowls
  • Bottled water (for you and the animals)
  • Food bowls
  • Treats
  • Food – dry (Keep in an airtight container.  Refresh every 6 months.)
  • Food – canned (Pack some of their favorites or special meals like tuna as a yummy surprise.  Giving them their yummy favorites will help relieve stress. )
  • If they are on a raw diet  you will want to make at least a week’s worth of meals and freeze them.
  • Poop bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Litter box + litter + scoop
  • Cooler for frozen or cold items
  • Prescription medications – Have an adequate supply if they are currently on any.
  • Supplements (glucosamine, salmon oil, calcium, etc.)
  • Toys – an important stress reliever
  • Bedding – comfy animals = relaxed animals
  • Scratching posts (so kitties don’t destroy other people’s furniture)
  • Cat nip – this can help some cats to relax
  • Holistic tools that can be calming to some animals: Feliway or DAP, aromatherapy (Rescue Remedy, HomeoPet, Spirit Essences™ Easy-Travelerthunder shirts
  • Brushes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Seat belts or restraints for any animal not kenneled
  • Animal First Aid Kit
  • Disaster Preparedness Kits for animals
  • First Aid Pet App – Includes first aid videos and vaccine tracking
  • SAS Survival Guide App 
  • Silly putty or Play-Doh ~ This is a must-have human de-stressor for the driver or passenger.  It has saved many stressed out minds while sitting for hours in traffic on the highways.
  • iBooks – download them and have ready for the many hours that you could be sitting in the car for hours during a mass evacuation.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

Transportation

  • Does your vehicle have room for all of your animal companions?
  • Does it have room for all of their supplies and all of your supplies?
  • Is your vehicle safe?
  • Does your vehicle have air conditioning or heating?

If you cannot say yes to all of those questions, you need to make arrangements with a friend or family member who is also evacuating.

Back in the day, I would have answered NO to all five questions.  Fortunately, I have some of the best friends in the world.  They let me borrow their vehicle and evacuate with them and their animal menagerie. I am forever grateful to them for the many evacuations that we made safely together over the years.

Lodging

  • Who is willing to take you and your animal companions in for several days to weeks?
  • If it is friends or family, do they understand exactly what they are signing up for if they agree to give you and your menagerie shelter?
  • How long can they let you stay there?

If you do not have family or friends that can take you all in safely, find a place of refuge that is pet-friendly.  There are websites that can help you locate animal friendly hotels  before you set out on the road.  Or you can  find hotels along the way.   If you enjoy having your animal companions with you when you’re out and about, there is a resource for locating pet friendly restaurants and bars.

If there are no pet-friendly hotels in the area that you are evacuating to, find out if there is a local animal facility there that can board your animals.  Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept animals because of state health and safety regulations.  Service animals are the only animals allowed there.


Transport Carriers

Have a proper-sized pet carrier for each animal.  For example, do not attempt to cram two cats into one kennel because “they are buddies and will be fine together.”  This could go horribly wrong if one of them becomes stressed.  Trust me. As a rule, each animal should have their own kennel.

packing up the feathered family

Carriers should be large enough to allow your animal companion to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down.  They may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time.  Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects.  If you are using a metal or plastic kennel, know that as soon as you hit the road, the metal will most likely begin to rattle.  Partially cover the kennel with a sheet or blanket.  This will minimize the rattling sound and will also eliminate stress from riding in a car.

Keep your kennels in an easily accessible area of the house – not in the basement of a building.  Your condo could catch on fire on the floor above you and you could find yourself stuck on the 8th floor with 5 animals that need evacuating.  Having to run up and down 8 flights of stairs multiple times, for each animal, while your condo is on fire, is something that should never have to happen. (That’s a lesson that I learned  the hard way). Prepare and plan ahead.

Leave blankets, sheets or bedding in the kennels at all times.  This is one less step that you will have to take if you have to grab your animals at a moment’s notice.

Desensitize your animal companion to the transport crate or kennel ahead of time.  Turn the ‘scary kidnap box’ into a comfy sleeping den, or special treat place, or dinner time den. You can do this for any animal (cats, rabbits, chickens, rats, iguanas, birds, dogs, etc).

Small to medium-sized snakes, lizards, turtles, and amphibians can be transported in a small igloo cooler.  The cooler helps maintain a stable temperature for your reptile friend.  Place a damp towel in the cooler for comfort and humidity.  When transporting your snake, make sure it is securely wrapped in a (tear free) pillow case.  Then place into the igloo.

Providing safe “hide boxes” for small mammals can make traveling less stressful for them

If you are traveling with small mammals that overheat easily, you will need to provide a well ventilated transport cage – do not use anything plastic and avoid placing any mammal or reptile in direct sunlight inside the vehicle.  Even if the air is on, small mammals and reptiles can overheat and perish.  Be sure to provide safe chewing options for yours small mammals as well as some sort of hide boxes (cardboard or plastic) for your small mammal friends.  Animals (including reptiles) can overheat easily, so check on them frequently.

If your animal companion cannot go into a transport kennel calmly or willingly, or if she does not travel well in a vehicle, please discuss a safe medication option for that particular species with your veterinarian.
And … be sure to read the directions properly. Even if they drug appears to not be working, be patient and let it work.  Their stress levels can mask the drug’s effects.  You can easily overdose them.  Follow your vet’s instructions precisely!


Have A Backup Plan!

In the event that a natural disaster strikes and you are not able to get home, ask a reliable neighbor or friend to assist with evacuating your animal companions.  Make sure this person has a spare key and knows where your Evacuation Kit(s) are stored.  Be sure that they are comfortable and familiar with each animal.  Show them where your animals are most likely to be hanging about or hiding.  Ask them to meet you at a specific location where you can collect your animals.

If you use a pet-sitting service, she may also be able to help you, in case the disaster happens on her watch.   You will need to discuss the possibility of this well in advance.  Give these caretakers written permission to medicate (if qualified) or take your animals to the vet if it becomes necessary.


 DO NOT LEAVE THEM BEHIND

Many Animal Companions Were Left Behind During Katina

If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your animals.  Even if you think you will only be gone for a few hours, take your animal companions with you.  You have no way of knowing how long you’ll be gone, and you may not be able (or allowed) to go back for them.  They are your family members.  You wouldn’t leave a child or grandparent behind.  Why even consider leaving your animal companion? Do not leave any pets behind!


Plan Ahead & Stay Calm

Proper planning before disaster strikes home can help you remain calm and panic free in an otherwise overwhelming and stressful situation. It will ensure your animal companions’ safety, and give you peace of mind.   Sometimes you cannot plan ahead because the disaster comes in fast and furious.  But if you can plan and evacuate early, do it.  Waiting until the last minute will ensure stress on not only you, but on your animal companions.  Remember that if you are stressed, they are most certainly going to stress.

Breathe.  You can do this.  Be calm.  Breath some more.  Things will not go according to plan.  It’s ok.   Breathe.  All is well.  Let your animal companions give you the comfort when you need it most.  One of the many gifts that they offer freely to their human is to calm and comfort us.  Let them do it, especially when you are running from one of life’s storms.  Remember to laugh and take another deep breath.  It will all be over soon.  As the song so eloquently says, “So, let go.  Jump in.  It’s alright ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.  So, let go.”

The View We Saw Of Hurricane Katrina Coming Onto Land As We Were Evacuating AT THE LAST MINUTE
The View We Saw Of Hurricane Katrina Coming Onto Land As We Were Evacuating AT THE LAST MINUTE

By creating a thorough evacuation plan, you will be prepared for any disaster, devastation, or calamity that comes your way.  Life can be chaotic.  Natural disasters can strike fast and furiously, but there are ways to avoid being hit head on.  You can respond safely, efficiently, and calmly.  It can be done without drama and stress.  You just have to put in some effort.  As we enter hurricane season, there is no better time than NOW.  Be prepared.  You will wish you had taken the time to prepare if nature comes directly at you this season.


If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining. ― Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead


Have you heard?  The Trilogy we are creating tells of the many Hurrications we’ve had, including Katrina, and how our very own Mr. Beaux went M.I.A. on a number of occasions.  He barely survived!  Now we are telling his “tale.”
=^..^=
Details HERE