Skip panicked scramble in emergency; BE PREPARED
When planning for an emergency our imaginations can get carried away. Sometimes that's a good thing. If Hurricane Katrina taught us one thing it’s that we can never really imagine the horrific realities wrought by natural disasters of such magnitude.
Learning from mistakes made during events like Katrina is important, especially in the Northwest, where an earthquake or tsunami could actually occur. All the more important considering how easy it is to dismiss the possibility of such events, given their rarity. It’s likely that if or when such an event did occur here, our guard would be down.
This is one part of our 2009 Disaster Preparedness series. Click here for additional coverage.
I will never forget watching the disturbing televised footage of a Golden Retriever swimming after a rescue boat. How happy he must have been to see people; friends, he probably believed. He saw the boat, leapt into the current. They would save him as surely as he would have saved them. How devastated he must have felt when they sped away, leaving him alone, struggling in the floodwaters.
It’s been four years since Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans and devastated the Gulf Coast region. Katrina was a disaster on so many levels. For animals, it was a holocaust. There are estimates that as many as 600,000 were left behind to fend for themselves. Thousands perished; many drowned, others succumbed to dehydration, starvation, heat or disease in the weeks and months that followed.
During a recent spell in a veterinary waiting room with my Aussie friend Pearl I happened upon a gem of a book, Tails from Katrina.
Jeff Selis was just another photographer, pet lover, and concerned Oregonian as he watched Katrina’s horrors unfold just over four years ago. The book came to Selis as an idea one morning as he watched a local news crew report on a group of Oregon Humane Society volunteers who had recently returned from the devastation with 78 dogs and 15 cats.
Rebecca Rodriguez, an animal activist and filmmaker featured in Spot in July '09, has an impressive, diverse resume. She also possesses the moniker: Inventor.