First Alert Weather Alert: Flood Warning expires at 10:04 PM on 4/24, issued at 10:04 PM Blackshear, GA | Bristol, GA | Mershon, GA | Millwood, GA

Less Rain ('til late in the weekend)... Weekend Forecasts: Dragon Boat Festival, Gators, Seminoles... Disaster Plan for Pets

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Updated: 9/20/2013 12:28 am

A couple drier days with only isolated to widely scattered showers & storms Fri. & Sat. Temps. will be seasonably warm with highs in the mid to upper 80s. The forecast become more unsettled later Sunday into early next week. A weak front will move into the area & combine with tropical moisture to trigger an increase in showers & storms Sun. afternoon continuing into Mon. The exact location of the front will dictate rainfall totals.  Radar imagery below courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District:

There were pockets of heavy rain Thu. A couple of interesting First Alert photos - the first from Bobby, Hanna Park (roll clouds along the edge of a squall)....the second from Steve LeBlanc at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

Lots to do this weekend. Sat. will be the first Jacksonville Dragon Boat Festival from 9am-5:15pm on the St. Johns River at The Landing. I'll be the emcee/announcer beginning at 3:15pm. Skies will be partly sunny and temps. will warm from the low to mid 70s @ 9am to the mid to upper 80s by 4-5pm. There will be some threat of a quick shower or storm later in the afternoon. Come on down & enjoy! Click ** here ** for info.

The Gators are at home @ 3:30pm against Tennessee. A hot football game with temps. near 90 with a breeze from the south at a mere 10 mph. A few late day storms will develop up & down the I-75 corridor & could affect the Gainesville area.

The Seminoles are in Tallahassee taking on Bethune Cookman (seriously??) @ 6pm. There will be at last scattered storms in the Panhandle which could threaten the game. Otherwise, hot & humid with temps. near 90 & a S/SE breeze near 10 mph but gusty near any storms.

Tropical development is looking less likely -- for the moment -- in the Gulf of Mexico. But the tropical moisture continues to gather in the Caribbean & Southern Gulf & will flow northeast into the First Coast late in the weekend. Speaking of the tropics.....

From Property Casualty Insurers Association (click ** here ** for info. from FEMA.... ** here ** for info. from the American Humane Association):

We are in the last seven weeks of the 2013 hurricane season, meaning there’s still plenty of time left for a storm to cause massive destruction along the coastal regions. If you have to evacuate it’s important to have a plan in place. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging property owners along the coast to review your insurance policy, protect your home from potential storm damage, create a home inventory, and gather an emergency kit for your family and your beloved pet.

Last year we saw an estimated 30 million animals - including 14.5 million dogs, 15.3 million cats, and 1.5 million horses - caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy. “As you make emergency evacuation plans for your family, it’s important for pet owners to also have a plan in place for their animals. This is all part of the bigger picture to have everything ready to go well in advance of a storm approaching,” said Chris Hackett PCI’s director of personal lines. “Take a few moments to talk with your insurance agent or company about your insurance needs, practice your emergency response plan with your family and don’t forget about your pets. We encourage you to do this now because you won’t have much time as a storm is approaching.”

In order to qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, a city or state is required to submit a plan detailing its disaster preparedness program. The PETS Act also requires authorities to include how they will accommodate households with pets or service animals when presenting plans to FEMA.

“With 62 percent of U.S. households owning a pet, the need to include animals in emergency plans was – and remains – greater than ever,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association president and chief executive officer. “Pets form an integral part of American families, and numerous disasters have proven that people will not evacuate from dangerous situations if they believe that they cannot take their pet along or if they feel they do not have a safe place to shelter their pet until they can return home.”

It’s important to plan for pet’s needs during a disaster.

FEMA Pet Checklist:

  • Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter's number in your list of emergency numbers. They might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
  • Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they're not available later. Before you find yourself in an emergency situation, consider packing a "pet survival" kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.
  • Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.
  • Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.
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