I Think SoCal is Pretty Much Screwed This Winter

If you haven’t heard the news, we here in Southern California are finally starting to see the effects of the massive, gargantuan El Nino the likes of which we have not seen in our lifetimes. And I think it’s going to be ugly.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Every time we deal with a natural disaster, everyone runs out and gives people tips for preparing and being ready and most people do one or two things but the reality is, there’s only so much time in the day and so many disasters one can prepare for without going full on survivalist. At some point you have to get on with your day and hope you’re not separated from your family when the Big One hits.

The more likely you are to suffer a disaster, the more likely you are to prepare for that particular situation. All Californians know what to do in an earthquake; it’s drilled into us starting with kindergarten (as were nuclear meltdown drills in the 80s when I lived by the San Onofre plant, but in retrospect I’m not sure what good hiding under a desk would have done, really.) The beach roads by my house are helpfully marked with convenient evacuation routes for tsunamis. And after last year, when my kids were whisked out of school while a massive wildfire bore down on my neighborhood, I also revised my wildfire plan. 

earth

I figured since I knew what to do for earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, and nuclear core meltdowns, I had all my bases covered and could relax and enjoy the thunder a little without worrying too much, right?

But no one ever taught me what to do about a tornado.

Around noon yesterday, I got a call from my kids’ school that due to the thunder and lightning, they were not letting kids walk out to their parents like they usually do and each of us would have to individually pick up our kids in the car pickup line or park and go into the school. Fine, I thought, and showed up 45 minutes early to get a spot in line.

About 10 minutes after that, I get a panicked text from my daughter that one of her counselors received a tornado warning on her cell phone.

“Don’t worry,” I texted back. “She probably lives out in the boonies somewhere.”

“SHE LIVES HERE,” she texted back, followed by 10 crying emojis.

Then my phone buzzed. “Tornado warning until 3:45 in your area,” it said. “Seek cover immediately.”

Now by this point all the parents in the parking lot are grabbing their buzzing phones like a scene out of a Steven King movie, looking at each other with a quizzical “What the heck does this mean” look. What’s a warning? Does that mean it’s a little windy? Or does it mean an F-3 is bearing down on our little line of cars?

Meanwhile, my daughter- who has been studying geology in school and has a deep and abiding fear of all natural disasters including tsunamis, super volcanos, and the San Andreas fault, is calling me in tears because she got the text as well and now she’s convinced we are all going to die, and I am trying to reassure her everything is fine while a small part of me started thinking about tying myself to the flagpole with a slip lead.

Being the cautious  type, I pulled out of the pickup line and parked the car so I could go inside the sturdy concrete environs of the school and join a teeming mass of alarmed parents, none of whom knew what a tornado warning actually meant. A smaller but hardier number remained stubbornly in the parking lot, because in the Southern California school jungle, The Wicked Witch of the East fate is an acceptable risk when it comes to giving up a prime spot in the pickup line.

My daughter requests that we not leave the school grounds until the tornado warning expires, which happens about half an hour later. Most people do not wait, rolling their eyes at the National Weather Services’ overabundance of caution and running off into the winds, umbrellas inside out. I learn later that most of the county schools were ordered to shelter in place, but not us. Fortunately for all involved no tornado actually materialized, because it probably would have eaten up the vast majority of minivans in the region, leaving no one standing but the school principal and us, while my daughter says, “Told you so.”

On the way home, my phone buzzed again. FLASH FLOOD WARNING, it said. STAY INSIDE. There at least was something I knew what to do with. Avoid creeks.

I came home to find poor Brody curled in our laundry room, the only windowless room in the house. My friends in the midwest reassure me that a tornado warning is a big deal and instead of playing Bejeweled in the car one is supposed to run to the center of the house- in my case, our laundry room- and pull a mattress over your head.

My point in all of this is, you can prepare all you want but there’s still always going to be something you just never thought you needed to be able to handle, and that’s probably what is going to get you. And when that happens-

If that happens-

Look to your dog for guidance. He’s the only one with any sense.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Hey, guys, is this a dog or a bear? Internet mystery solved…

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Jagger

Jagger, a shih-tzu who lives in Nice.
RIVIERA DOGS

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May 19, Best Dog Food Guide | Learn then Choose What’s Best for Your Dog

Want the best dog food for your beloved pet? Reasons to switch dog food brands. Get informed today.
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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Canton K-9 Jethro

I ran into Jethro and his handler while I was at the car wash yesterday. Jethro is an officer with the Canton (Ohio) Police Department, trained for patrol and for narcotics detection. He’s very focused, but not really on the camera. His handler was standing behind me with his Kong toy. Thanks to both of […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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RSVP for the #PAW5Launch Twitter Party + Pre-Party #Giveaway!

It’s time for a new Event Barkers Twitter party! Along with our Event Barkers co-host To Dog With Love, we’ve got a great new product to introduce to everyone at the #PAW5Launch Twitter…



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DogTipper

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Current reading

I got this book as a Christmas present, and it is so good:

 

This is the real world of the North of England shepherd and his border collies, and it’s so good.

Look for a review in the near future!


Natural History

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Final doe kill

On New Year’s Eve, I was able to fill the final doe tag.  West Virginia has a final doe season split in some counties, where you can take a doe during the last three days of the year. I got her on the last fifteen minutes of the season, with a .243 (Remington 788 model).

4373

I saw two does come out just before dark, and I was able to put clean heart shot on the larger of the two. The state DNR has requested that hunters in certain counties take does, especially larger ones that will likely have twins in the spring, in order to control the deer population.

The side you see is the exit wound.

 

 

 


Natural History

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My Niece’s Houseguests

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I said my niece, Allison, had signed up to be a dog-sitter on DogVacay? She’s in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, if any of you are looking for a sitter. After a few initial hiccups (one of her dogs had a seizure while she was giving a prospective […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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#NotMyPresidentDay

It’s president’s day but I’m in no mood for celebration.  
Oh it’s not because I’m not a patriot as I believe in values like freedom and equality – all of the things that we’ve fought for as a country. That I’ve walked for.
But we have a fight of a different kind now and we’ve been abandoned by our leaders.     
This blog is about the funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), this government’s, our government’s, decade long disregardment of, what the World Health Organization called the deadliest disease in 2010 and nothing else.   
Let’s take a look at the numbers.  They represent the total budget of NCI in billions of dollars.
2000 $ 3.3
2001 $ 3.8
2002 $ 4.2
2003 $ 4.6
2004 $ 4.7
2005 $ 4.8
2006 $ 4.8
2007 $ 4.8
2008 $ 4.8
2009 $ 5.0
2010 $ 5.1
2011 $ 5.1
2012 $ 5.1
2013 $ 4.8  
Let me give you some context.  This past fiscal year, the current administration earmarked $ 6.3 billion for Ebola virus research, a disease that affected, what, 1 or 2 people in the US and yet 1/2 of all men and 1/3 of women will be diagnosed with cancer. Nevermind the 2-4 million dogs that develop the same types of cancer every year. Why?
But I get it – it’s politically expedient. Ebola grabs headlines.  
On my first walk, I met with a few legislators and lobbyists and what they said was, ‘Great cause, just get a spokesperson and a celebrity around it and then we’ll listen.’ And so I walked the entire expanse of the West Coast in search of someone who would stand up. No one did.  
Even though celebrities talk about how devoted they are to animal causes.  
In my little world of walking 4k miles for this cause, you get tired of those that just talk and talk
which is why I’ve walked the walk. No one has the right to present themselves as a dog lover unless they stand up to the number one killer of dogs. Cancer.  
I return to DC in June without a celebrity or a spokesperson.   I am no longer a naif.  Having witnessed all of the death I have from cancer I will stand up and be heard.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES

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