Thursday, May 1, 2008
Are You Prepared?
On this gorgeous sunny day, I am still haunted by the photos on the news of the three tornadoes that hit Suffolk, Va. earlier this week. When we lived there, my job was in Suffolk and I commuted every day about forty minutes from Chesapeake. The offices of the TV production company where I worked were literally next door to where the tornadoes ripped through buildings and flattened houses. I was so grateful that we were resettled safely here with a few hundred miles between us and all the devastation.
I’ve felt this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for narrowly escaping disaster several times in recent years. Just before we moved from California to Virginia, Hurricane Isabel blew across Chesapeake. The owner of the barn where I ended up boarding Silk and Siete told me how terrifying it was. She painted her cell phone number on the side of each of her horses and turned them loose during the storm. In San Diego, where we once lived, other friends of mine escaped the wildfires with their horses last fall. They wrote their cell phone numbers in Sharpie on their horses’ front hooves. When we moved here, I had brass halter plates engraved with my address and phone number on them. I attached them to the girls’ halters in case they ever got loose and wandered away from home.
Last summer, there was a tornado that touched down about five miles from here. It was very unusual, and I was not really prepared. I opened the doors of the stalls for the horses, so they could run into the corral if the barn collapsed. Then, I took my family and my other animals to the basement and prayed really hard. We were fine, but it made me realize that I needed to get my act together.
So here I am, under blue skies, sorting through my emergency kit and figuring out whether I could actually walk my horses into my basement if another tornado came our way. We have four plastic 5- gallon containers filled with water in case the electricity goes out and the well pump doesn’t work. I figure that will be enough to give the horses for two days. I’ve put a generator on my wish list just ahead of the horse trailer, but so far we haven’t won the lottery.
Does anyone else have any good ideas or must-have items for horse owners in bad weather emergencies? Let’s think about it now before hurricane and tornado and wildfire warnings interrupt our regularly scheduled programs. I don’t know if you remember what I told you a while ago: When someone asks me what does a TV and film producer actually do, my answer is always that I’m the one who worries the most.