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are both you and your dog ready

The deadly explosion in West, Texas, at a fertilizer plant caused an estimated 75 block radius of destruction. Dozens of homes were flattened, including a nursing home and a junior high school. Firefighters and search and rescue (SAR) teams have been going door to door doing welfare checks, and countless hours have been spent slowly digging through rubble for survivors or the deceased. Texas governor Rick Perry has declared the tragedy a disaster and requested the federal government declare it an emergency. The sheer magnitude of the blast was rated as forceful as a 2.1 earthquake, and no one is sure how long it will take to locate the bodies of the missing, which includes a team of firefighters who were fighting the blaze moments before it exploded. If you were in one of the homes so close to the blast you had no choice but to leave immediately, would you have the necessary gear ready? What about your pets? In evacuations, you have a limited length of time to get out. And in the case of a larger scale disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, you won’t be going home for who knows how long. Worst case scenario would be an attack or natural disaster of such gravity that you would need to leave your home for a safer location quickly an louis vuitton outlet d for an unknown period of time. Perhaps you’d never again return.

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Many people who live in areas known for natural disasters or those readying for such threats as a zombie apocalypse or valid outside attack have a bug out bag (BOB), also known as a go bag, ready to, well, go. This bag contains only items immediately essential to the fleeing person. Some suggest all people should have a BOB because you never know when an emergency of any sort may occur. Assess your surroundings for heightened risks. In West, Texas, the fertilizer plant had been present since 1962 and had gone out of compliance for years before finally meeting state regulations in 2006 after complaints of an ammonia smell in the air. There had been problems over the years. So perhaps it is not quite as shocking the tragic fire and following explosion occurred. Do you live within range of a dam or levee like the one that broke during Hurricane Katrina? Both you and your dog need a BOB. Many items are also useful for you, but you need enough for both of you. Don’t assume you have enough in your bag for yourself and your dog or vice versa. Experienced survivalists recommend having enough supplies to be able to survive or travel at least three days, but that really is a bare minimum. Countless homes in West, Texas, were completely destroyed. And remember, residents weren’t able to return to their then mold infested, destroyed homes in New Orleans for quite some time, and many actually never went back at all.

A crate is only useful if you are traveling by car, although one could come in handy at a shelter as well, such as the Superdome in Louisiana. A leash should top your list since even well trained dogs may panic in the pandemonium, although solid obedience training is important in case a leash is not available or your dog must be allowed to walk freely at your side for some reason. Your dog should already be wearing a collar. ID tags are valuable if you plan to use a shelter, but don’t assume you will be able or want to do that. A copy of your dog’s vaccination records and registration are actually important to have on hand in case you need to gain access to a shelter. More shelters are allowing pets now, but they often request these papers. Additionally, a color photograph of yourself with your dog sealed in a plastic baggie takes up no space at all and is very useful if you are separated. In fact, police suggest this practice for your children, also a photograph of your child with you is valuable to have.

Have your dog wear their bug out bag pack before it becomes necessary. Dropping a fully loaded pack on a dog’s back as their first experience is a poor plan. Start with an empty pack. Let your dog sniff it thoroughly, then put it on. Adding weight a little at a time to ease your dog into it is best; your dog will be carrying a full pack sooner than you think. A good rule of thumb is no dog should carry greater than approximately 25% of their body weight, taking into account their health, age, and overall fitness. It’s equally as important for your dog to be in good shape as for you. You couldn’t run out the door one day and hike up the side of a mountain with no problems whatsoever; do your dog a favor by working on their fitness level progressively. Once they’ve reached a decent place physically, add the pack to their workouts.

Keep you and your dog’s first aid kits separate. Never think that having an item in one kit means you don’t need to worry about the other. Relying on a single pack of water purification tablets for the both of you could be a fatal decision. Also, slip items into small baggies for waterproofing. These baggies can also be useful once you’re out the door for quite a few things, such as holding food you find. But don’t assume a food source is safe. Know your plants and berries; better yet, include a small color photo handbook in your own pack. Study the book now and memorize as much as possible. Eating the wrong berry or drinking untreated water could give you diarrhea at the least, which may not sound dangerous, but dehydrates you faster than you are able to replenish fluids, which can be deadly. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 90% of the world’s water is now contaminated in some way. The days where you could kneel at a stream and safely drink are long gone. In order to drink, you need to be able to treat your water. There are two kinds of contamination: biological and toxic. Biologically contaminated water contains microorganisms like Giardia, while toxic water contains chemicals such as pesticides or runoff from a chemical plant, and so on. Boiling water kills most bacterial organisms, but it must be either above 160 for half an hour or above 185 for just a few minutes. The boiling point is 212, so while water is reaching the boiling point the majority of organisms will be killed. To be sure boiled water is truly clean, let it stay at a rolling boil for at least one full minute. Always have a backup method for purification in case one fails. Better yet, have two. And if you’re going to consider boiling water as a method, you need to be sure you have enough fuel for the fire as well as a container strong enough to handle the heat. There are countless water filters on the market. Filters push water through microscopic filters with ratings related to the size of organism they can remove. The standard given for these ratings is a micron, which is incredibly tiny. A period at the end of a sentence is 600 microns. Take special care when choosing a filter, because if you choose one that only removes bigger organisms like Giarda but not smaller ones like Hepatitis A, your water won’t be purified. Do research to find out what size you need and get the best quality filter possible. You need a microfilter to get rid of bacteria like E. Coli and an actual water purifier, capable of handling particles as small as 0.004 microns, to get rid of rotavirus and Hepatitis A. Although the presence of some viruses is currently rare within the United States, there is no way to tell what could happen in a disaster. There is a difference between a filter and a purifier. In order to get rid of viruses, you need a purifier, not a filter. Purifiers that pass water through both a filter and iodine can kill viruses. Filters use membranes with particle ratings, and anything bigger than the listed pore size won’t pass through. Although they are fairly easy to clean, they also clog easier than depth filters do. A depth filter uses thicker materials like carbon to trap particles when you pour water through them. One nice thing about these is that you can partially clean them by back flushing them, but if you aren’t careful and crack them, they become totally useless. Dogs need about one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. Water is heavy, which is why you also must include ways to purify whatever water you find. You cannot realistically expect to carry all the water you’ll louis vuitton outlet need.

There may be items missing from this list that you want in your dog’s pack. All items are suggestions, because your personal location and skills make a difference. And brands mentioned are not meant as a sales pitch. They’re simply examples of what to look for when you build your dog’s BOB.

Pack: A pack for your dog so they can carry as much of their own gear as possible. A nameplate firmly affixed to the bag with both yours and your dog’s information is up to personal discretion, but if you do it, put it on the inside, not on the outside where just anyone can read it. Ruffwear’s Palisades pack has bladders for water and a handle on the shoulders meant for lifting your dog over objects. Ruffwear’s Approach packs (multiple generations) and Doggles’ The Extreme Pack are also great choices. Remember, your dog should only carry about 25% of their own weight with adjustments for their fitness level.

Sleeping bag: Dogs need protection from the elements, too. The Marmont Plasma 30 900 fill goose down sleeping bag compresses down to coffee can size so you could easily carry two. Most dogs will be happy to be tucked into a sleeping bag when it is truly cold outside. These weigh 1.5 pounds and are compact. REI makes its own Flash Sleeping Bag weighing 1 pound 9 ounces, with 800 fill goose down. REI’s version is more affordable and very similar. Both bags are rated for very cold weather. When you’re buying sleeping bags, consider whether they can be zipped together. It comes in very handy. Whatever you get, don’t forget three factors: weight, compressed size, and temperature rating.

Bowl: While some suggest non spill bowls or even bowls with lids, it is often best to use collapsible bowls since you do not have endless space or weight. Although nylon has its advantages, the fact that waterproof really means water resistant and repeatedly packing them away as you would need to creates mildew means nylon tends not to be your best choice. Sea to Summit’s X Bowl, which is admittedly created for humans, is collapsible and has a rubber bottom. Attaching a carabiner at the top edge of the bowl enables you to hang the bowls from the outside of your dog’s pack if needed.

3 day supply of lightweight, high quality food and water: Dry kibble is best. Don’t change to an unusual food, because sudden change can cause diarrhea. A dog with diarrhea on the trail risks serious dehydration and even death. Vacuum seal the container if you can and write the date of storage on the bag so you can rotate food out as needed.

Water bottle: There’s really no point in having water purification tablets and a filter if you don’t have anything to store water in. Water is your most important item, but it’s also heavy. One gallon of water weighs ten pounds, and a 70 lb Golden Retriever would need a minimum of 70 ounces a day. One gallon of water is 128 ounces. You’d be carrying 5lbs of water for your dog’s consumption for one day. Bottles such as the Klean Kanteen are durable and you can boil water in them, which is handy.

Water filter: You should have tablets and a filter. Make sure your filter removes all the important contaminants since some are limited. Refer to the earlier information about choosing a filter with small enough pores to remove everything. The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter is one example of a good quality filter, but remember, filters and purifiers are different.

Water purifier: To remove all microorganisms, including viruses, you need a purifier. One good system is the PUR Scout Water Purifier, which weighs 14 ounces and has been praised by many outdoor enthusiasts as long lasting and tough. One filter handles 100 gallons of water. Another good system is the MSR Sweetwater Purifier System, which also weighs 14 ounces, and purifies 200 gallons. When choosing, make sure it doesn’t need batteries, and read the manual. Don’t assume you know everything about the system. For example, assuming difficulty pumping is a clog could actually be a piece of debris stuck in the housing, and if you force it, you could damage something.

Water purification tablets: There are two ways to chemically treat water: iodine and chlorine. These products have an expiration date, so keep yours current. There are specific elements to using chemicals for purification, so make sure you know how to use them. For example, if the water is too cold when treated, it won’t be purified. Research shows water needs to be above 60F (16C) before treatment. Iodine is light sensitive and must be stored in a dark container. Additionally, some people have allergies to iodine, and if you have a thyroid problem, or are on lithium, are a woman over fifty, or are pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about using iodine. Take care when choosing chemical methods. You may have trouble convincing your dog to drink water purified with iodine; test your method ahead of time. Micropur MP1 makes a tablet using chlorine dioxide to purify water with a less objectionable taste than iodine based products. These are best for short term use. A water filter or purifier is still your best first choice.

Powdered Gatorade or other electrolyte source: Dogs find themselves in need of electrolytes just like people do. Don’t expect your own supply to cover both of you; always have a separate supply for your dog. Make sure it is not loaded with sugar.

Fire starters: Don’t have just one way to start a fire. And don’t start them all in one place, because if it is lost or stolen, you’re out of luck. The importance of your ability to build and light a fire is surpassed only by your need for water, and matched only by shelter and food, which are neck and neck. Matches are first. They should be waterproof, and you can buy some such as Stormproof Matches or Google ways to waterproof your own. Store your matches in multiple locations. You should also have lighters, at least one of which should be wind resistant and waterproof. Consider carrying some Butane lighter fluid for refills. The cheap lighters from a gas station cannot be refilled. Finally, make sure you have a firesteel and scraper, which have replaced the old flints. The magnesium sparks when you drag the included metal scraper down the side. They last for thousands of uses and burn hotter than a match. Ultimate Survival Technologies has a Sparkie Firestarter that can be operated one handed and if it gets wet all you have to do is wipe it off and you’re good to go.

Tinder: No, it isn’t possible to cart around a bunch of tinder. You can almost always find something to burn. It’s that first spark that matters, which is why you carry multiple fire starters. However, there is one louis vuitton outlet old survivalist trick that is worth having on hand just in case. Coating cotton balls in petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and sealing them in a sandwich bag gives you homemade tinder that burns fast and hot. You may even be surprised by how long these burn. If you have a baggie with quite a few inside, you could use one now and then as needed.

Clothing: Your dog is also affected by weather, so a jacket or vest is important for warmth and protection from the elements. Make sure if doesn’t rub and is durable and easily washable. You’re not looking for a cute sweater, you’re looking for a quality jacket.

Eye protection, such as Doggles: Yes, really. There is simply no way to know what you’re going to be dealing with. If, for example, there louis vuitton outlet was a bomb strike against the country, there could be fallout, acid rain, or other problems where your dog’s eyes need protection.

Knife: A folding knife with a saw edge is fine for your dog’s pack. This is not meant to replace, let alone be, your main knife. The Gerber Ultimate Knife w/Fine Edge by Bear Grylls is a good backup and also has a built in fire starter. The Ultima, designed by Michael Martinez, is a fixed blade knife with a saw tooth edge near the handle and its unique patent pending handle touches 22 of the 23 ideal contact points. Its sheath can be mounted on MOLLE gear, and there are MOLLE harnesses and packs available for dogs.

Compass and folding map: Should be of the area you have planned for your escape route and destination. Having a set in your dog’s pack as well as your own bag is useful because “just in case” does happen. No need for anything fancy, just make sure your compass points reliably to true north.

Flashlight with extra batteries: You can start with whatever is available, but it’s a good idea to invest in a good light. Power is measured in lumens, and although brighter may seem better, it takes more power to be brighter, so it won’t last as long. A candle puts out 13 lumens of light while a 100 watt bulb is 1,200 lumens. You need the best of both worlds. The Surefire LX2 Lumamax Dual Output LED Flashlight is an example of a high quality tactical light. It’s small, bright, and rugged. A larger excellent option with a 630 lumen output at its highest setting is the Fenik TK40 High Performance Cree LED Flashlight. And if you don’t mind its 17 pound bulk and want the incredible power of 40 million lumens, choose the Humvee 40MIL 110 40 Million Candle Power Search Light with Emergency Flasher.

Bandanna: Quite a few uses including muzzling (in case of injury or in case you happen into a situation where your dog absolutely must remain silent), wound care, tying together torn or otherwise broken straps, etc.

Mylar emergency blanket/space blanket: Dogs become hypothermic too. Not meant to replace a sleeping bag. Backup.

Paw protection: There are numerous scenarios in which you’ll need to protect your dog’s paws from sharp objects, chemicals, salts, heat, and freezing temperatures. Ultimate Dog Boots are quality, tall, adjustable protectors. Muttluks are another good brand.

Brush: This may seem like a waste of space and an item of vanity, however, a good brush helps protect your dog’s skin. Keeping a long haired dog free of mats protects them from wounds and infections that will occur beneath matted hair, and brushing a short haired dog helps prevent skin issues as well.