[nagdu] A VISIT FROM IRENE
Criminal Justice Major Extraordinaire
orleans24 at comcast.net
Sun Aug 28 11:13:47 UTC 2011
Got this from another list and thought it was good to pass along.
Definitely some useful tips for those who have guide/assistance dogs or just
One suggestion I can think of is looking into the "potty patch", a litter
box similar to a kitty litter box.
The potty patch comes in small, medium and large.
You might be able to get it in extra small or extra large.
I'll have to look up that information as I may have to invest in getting one
for Odie, especially during those times where it's rough or extremely cold
This was compiled by John Justice, a GEB graduate.
My hopes are that Both GDUI and NAGDU would be able to incorporate these
important tips to other guide dog users as well as in Harness Up or
I plan on hanging on to these important tips.
Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2011 5:38 PM
Subject: A VISIT FROM IRENE
John here. Irene is coming and we're all a bit frightened of what might
I was raised on the shores of new jersey and we were used to flooding, tidal
disturbances and storms of every kind all year long. I remember sitting
at a two way radio, relaying messages sent into me by people in the area who
were trying to rescue thousands of residents who had been trapped by a storm
on Saint Patrick's Day, 1963. Imagine wading through water that was about
fifty degrees, trying to get people into boats or onto huge Army trucks and
bringing them to buildings on higher ground which had been set up as
shelters. I was there. As a volunteer fireman, the only thing I could do
was to run the radio, relay messages using one of the few phones that still
worked and trying to contact family members who could take in the refugees
when their homes were completely inundated by tons of cold, smelly salt
Imagine trying to keep the peace between hundreds of people who were cold,
wet and scared to death. There is nothing more devastating than being
ripped out of your home and being thrown into an old drafty building with
many other people in the same conditions.
Well, here we go again, everyone.
I spent the morning securing our patio furniture and Linda, my wife, made
sure that we had the kind of food you can eat when there's no electricity.
We're as ready as we can be but there's no way to tell what this storm is
going to do.
I envy the people who live further inland where the hurricanes rarely reach.
Every neighborhood has its individual problems I guess. You can move to
Minnesota where the hurricanes never go but then, you might be faced with a
blizzard which dumps feet of snow onto your home and into your streets. You
could live on the plains of Kansas or Missouri where hurricanes never go but
then you might have to deal with tornados or straight line winds which can
reach hurricane force when nothing is there to stop them. But I think that
the most terrifying thing of all is to be on a barrier island with a
Category II hurricane roaring down on you.
Right now, thousands of people have been evacuated from low lying areas and
they had no choice in the matter. A mandatory evacuation means that you are
given orders to leave and provided with transportation where necessary. If
you choose not to go, you might literally be signing your own death warrant.
Hundred mile an hour winds, coupled with storm surge waves and torrential
rain can flatten some homes in minutes.
But what do you do about your guide dogs or pets if you have them? How can
you take out your dog in conditions like that? The key is this. If you
normally let your animals out alone, try, if you can, to go with them.
People are often pushed around by hurricane force winds but they are rarely
lifted off of their feet. On the other hand, small dogs can often be lifted
into the air or thrown against walls or fences. If they're out there alone,
as blind people, we wouldn't even know that they were in trouble.
1. Stay with your animals and never let go of them. If you have a
retractable leash, use it to let the dog out. The worst that can happen is
that the dog might be forced against a wall or fence. With a retractable
leash, you still have a way to find them in a storm.
2. If you have waterproof clothing, use it. If you don't, take a
normal large trash bag, open it up and then find the sealed end. With a
pair of scissors, cut a hole at the center of the bottom seam. Then, pull
the bag over your head and with your fingers, widen the hole until your head
passes through it. You have now created a waterproof poncho. The bag is
large enough that you can still use your arms and hands. Your legs and feet
will become soaked in an amazingly short time but your upper torso will
remain relatively dry. Use a tight fitting hat or cap and force it down
onto your head as far as you can.
3. When you go out into the storm, stay close to a wall or fence.
Find something you can hold onto and whatever you do, don't go out into an
open area in the storm. There are several good reasons for this.
Primarily, the incredible noise is so loud that you might become
disoriented. As blind people, we use our ears to navigate. Everyone does
that to a greater or lesser extent. With that wind blowing across your ears,
you won't be able to hear where you are. Additionally, if you are in an
open area, the wind will be at its worst. Hurricane force winds can knock
people down. If you stay near a wall or a fence, you can hold onto it.
Winds that strong will often lift and carry things like branches, pieces of
wood, trash can lids or whatever isn't tied down or locked up. Many
injuries are caused by flying debris. Be very careful
4. If water starts to work its way under your door, the best way to
deal with that is ordinary household towels. They can hold an amazing
amount of water before becoming completely saturated. Take some of your
largest towels and keep them near that door. Roll one towel into a bundle
which is as long as possible, then force it down in front of the door as
hard as you can. Stand on it if you have to. Use only as much towel as
necessary because you are probably going to have to do this again when that
towel becomes too full of water to do any more good. You can store the wet
towels in a clothes basket or even a clean waste paper basket. If you still
have power and a clothes dryer, just dry the wet towels so that they can be
used again. Do not use paper towel! When paper towels become wet, they
begin to fall apart and you will end up with a much bigger problem.
I don't know how many of you are in areas where the storm can create
dangerous conditions. Right now, Irene is aimed at new York city. For the
firs time in known history, the subway systems are going to be closed
down. SEPTA, our local transportation company in the Philadelphia area, is
discontinuing all service later today.
All airports in the New York and Philadelphia area will be closed. All
train service in and out of new York and Philadelphia will be discontinued.
This is serious business, everyone. If you still have time and you live in
a home, make sure that everything which can move is either tied down or
placed into a garage or shed.
In winds like that, something like a broom or a rake can become a deadly
projectile. More important than anything else, don't go out there unless you
have to. For those of us with guide dogs, that is a necessity.
Remember, if power fails, all internet service and possibly cell phone
service may be cut off. Hopefully, if the power does go out, it won't be
Refrigerators and freezers will stay cold for an amazingly long time if they
are left closed. Do not open those doors unless you absolutely have to. If
you lose power for an extended time, the food in the freezers will
eventually begin to thaw. Do not attempt to re-freeze food which has thawed
out. Bacteria can form on the surfaces of some foods. The only way to
keep them safe is to cook what you can as soon as possible. If your power
stays off for more than a day, you may lose some of your frozen food. That
If you have a cell phone, make sure that it's fully charged at all times.
If you have an emergency, call 9 1 1 immediately. Be sure to advise the
dispatcher that you are blind, that you have a guide dog where that applies
and then, advise the nature of the emergency.
Above everything else, pray people.
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