This week, the SwiftPaws team met up with Mike of Mike’s Weather Page to help pet parents in the northern hemisphere prepare to take on hurricane season June 1st to Nov 30th. Why? Because if we’re not ready – neither are our pets!
In this episode, Founder and CEO of SwiftPaws, Meghan Wolfgram says she has been following Mike’s page on Facebook since before he became a global celebrity. Mike, who is not a formally trained meteorologist, started reporting the weather live from his Florida home. As a self-proclaimed geek, he analyzes trends across 30 free, publicly-available weather charts in front of a live audience multiple times a day. His in-depth forecast can last 30-minute to an hour. During a storm, he may have as many as 40,000 live viewers at any given time.
Mike is also a proud pet parent. Guest appearances by Louie, Mike’s dog, are in such high demand that “Hurricane Louie” now has his own loyal following on Instagram. Meghan says Mike and Louie make weather forecasting so personal and accessible within their own weather community that it only made sense to introduce them to the SwiftPaws Community where our mission is to help pets and pet parents live their best lives.
“A modern newsroom today could not replicate what you do,” Meghan said. “We’re so grateful to have you with us today because Mike’s Weather Page is a great resource for anyone that’s looking to be prepared and protect their pet family 365 days a year.”
SWIFTPAWS Q&A HIGHLIGHTS WITH MIKE OF MIKE’S WEATHER PAGE
Meghan: So, Mike, hurricane season 2020, what do you think will happen?
Mike: It’ll be a busy season. Every single prediction I’ve seen has been above average. First, the waters are warmer than normal. We’re going to be in a La Nina which means that the pacific is cooler, the Atlantic gets sheer and there is going to be more tropical activity. Lastly, long-term models — which most people in the profession do not trust — are showing more moisture overall. There is no way to predict where they’re going to go. They could all miss the states. But we do have a strong Bermuda high – you know, storms may come off Africa and steer this direction.
Meghan: How to do you best to prepare for hurricane season?
Mike: ABC Action News did a Red Cross special with a preparedness kit. In that coverage, they shared that just having a printed picture of your pet is key for if you ever get displaced. Things that aren’t in preparedness kits are the chargers for your phone or any devices your family members need. The big ones are gas and water. For me communication is big, you’ll want those 12-volt USB converters to plug into cigarette lighter and charge your phone. They’re on Amazon for $20-30 bucks. Amazon has a 4G hotspot that connects to any cellphone tower it searches for any available cellphone tower. It leases time from any cellphone tower. Only trick is you have to use your phone to buy minutes – buy the minutes before! Have the minutes stocked up and ready to go. Preparedness on your data plan. And, of course, extension cords; easy to forget.
Before COVID, toilet paper, people often forgot about that in the past. When you do go to get sandbags, bring something to wheel them out.
Meghan: How about basic preparation for pets? What do you do to prepare Hurricane Louie?
Mike: Dry food, water, medicines — a manual can opener is good to remember. Doggie bags, since people never have enough when displaced from their home. A lot of evacuation centers accept pets and a lot of them don’t. Some hotels do and some still don’t. It’s a really good point to check ahead of time. I know our vets will say to place an order three to four weeks in advance because they’ll get wiped out before the storm. They may not have power for a few weeks when you need them.
Meghan: After a hurricane or a storm, what are things people should or should not do?
Mike: You’re going to need friends with chainsaws; I have a little one myself and it gets a lot of use. The cleanup is a lot of work. They will have dump-off spots to seek out. My biggest thing is losing communication. Most people don’t think about that. I’d set up a place to keep your electronics charged and keep devices charged. If the internet is down on 4G after the storm, switch to 3G because fewer people will be on it and you can use it when 4G is unavailable.
You can switch your phone to 3G, turn off 4G. You’ll want to Google how to do that in-advance for when everyone is sucking up 4G. It’s not as fast but you can connect which can make all the difference in an emergency.
At the close of this episode, Mike and Meghan geek out on what it means to be a “media-ologist” or someone that’s not a traditional meteorologist. The community leaders agreed that while few networks have the time to research 30 or more “spaghetti charts” or models, it is a great time to be alive.
People have more tools than ever to be proactive, informed, and prepared. To access even more resources, Mike posts daily on spaghettimodels.com and to better prepare your pets for a hurricane, you can check out Bellalago Veterinary and download the official FEMA checklist.
Craving more? Check out daily how-to’s and activities in the SwiftPaws Community on Facebook today! June is Hurricane Preparedness Month. This month, community members will explore how to keep pets safe and cool during the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ — and, of course, swap photos with our dog friends. Join the fun in our exclusive SwiftPaws Community group, or on TikTok and Instagram.