It's hard to believe but today - on January 29 - we have our first tornado warning of 2013. Just the other night, my daughter and I were discussing our "hidey holes" and the challenges of fitting three dogs in them with us. You can bet that if and when I am able to have a different house, I will make darned sure there is either a storm room or a space large enough for everyone, including crates!
In our current home, the most logical spots are the closet in my son's room (provided we can throw all of his junk out of the way) or the bottom of the linen closet in the main hallway. Our bathrooms/bathtubs are both on outside walls, so those wouldn't work in a storm. Our house sits on top of a small rise, with major west-southwest exposure - not good given most of our storms move southwest to northeast. Neither "safe" spot (and that's a relative term) we have now can accommodate the dogs and their crates, so we have to put the dogs in the crates - with leashes on, just in case - and have them shelter in place. It isn't perfect, but it the best we can do at this time.
Some significant weather events are easier to plan for, animal-wise. Tornadoes and severe storms, not so much. They come quickly and then are gone, making it somewhat difficult to rearrange closets and such. But it is important to consider and just as important to make whatever advance plans are possible to ensure everyone's safety.
When I was leaving home this morning, the thunder had started and the western sky was dark with clouds, although we are only supposed to catch the very tail end of the severe thunderstorm headed our way. The tornado watch lasts until noon. I am looking out my library windows as I write this post. What I see is gray and windy but, then again, my windows face northeast! I told the dogs storms are expected. I left lights and music on and blinds drawn so any lightning wouldn't be quite so bright. Blue is the only one who frets and worries during storms. I hope he will hunker down and ride out any flashes and rumbles without too much trouble. But I know I will worry about them - more than usual - today. And I will continue to send them love and prayers for safekeeping.
If you live in a part of the country where severe weather makes shelter important, is yours big enough for your animals (and their crates)? If not, what do you do when faced with bad weather? And what else do you think is important to have at hand? For me, it's flashlight, phone, shoes. And pillows to cover our heads. You?
(As I finished writing, the rain started down in sheets. I can hear it on the roof of the school. The wind is picking up. We could be in for a bit of a siege - and if this is the "tail end" of the storm system, well, geez!)