We know it is not over, but we are grateful the 2019 hurricane season is drawing closer to its end!

The hurricane preparedness plan at the Sanctuary started months ago, as we cleared out drainage ditches, checked the generator, trees, and much more. What you may not know is that Hallie Hill is equipped to provide for its entire population for over 2 weeks in the event of a natural disaster. Necessarily, our preparedness is extensive and thorough, since it is always our plan to shelter in place. A gravity fed watering system makes it possible to provide water to all the animals with no effort in the event of a power outage. Emergency supplies include everything the animals or the staff may need during or after the storm, from extra insulin to plumbing repair supplies and chainsaw fuel and oil. If a direct hit by a severe storm were predicted, we would call for fosters to assist with evacuation of the more socialized dogs and cats. It is in the best interest of our less socialized animals to remain in their familiar environment, as they would be terribly traumatized and more at risk for escape or injury should they be evacuated.

Overall, Hallie Hill did very well in weathering the effects of Dorian! While we lost many large trees and branches to the high winds, an incredible army of volunteers cleaned up almost everything in just 2 days following the storm! The damaged fences were patched or replaced in less than a week. We are so very grateful for all the volunteers, as well as the donations that came in the aftermath of Dorian! It made a quick recovery possible.

In preparation for future storms, we have been making additional changes such as being thoughtful about the type and location of trees we plant. We have also installed larger gates in select locations to allow easier access by heavy equipment for cleanup after future storms.

In its aftermath, Dorian’s silver lining became evident in the incredible outpouring of care and concern shown by our community. The wonderful dogs and cats of Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary are truly blessed to be so loved!

– Jennifer Middleton