Dog-Obsessed Facebook Group Creates Foundation to Save Dogs Ahead of Natural Disasters

Chances are if you love puppies and pooches, you are a member of I Love My Dog, a Facebook group with more than 5.5 million followers.

It’s a magical place filled with adorable videos, the cutest memes and plenty of pup pictures, and now the creators are working to do something extra-special for its four-legged friends.

The Facebook page’s media company I Love My Dog So Much, LLC (ILMDSM) recently launched the I Love My Dog So Much Foundation, a volunteer-based non-profit started following last year’s natural disasters in an effort to protect pets before the next event hits.

“Raising money in advance of natural disasters is the root of the I Love My Dog So Much Foundation,” says David Abbott, Board Member of the ILMDSM Foundation and Founder/CEO of I Love My Dog So Much, LLC. “In doing so, we can be ready to make a greater impact when these unfortunate events arise — there is no time to waste.”

The foundation is dedicated to raising money in advance of a natural disasters, like Hurricane Florence, so staff can deploy funds and supplies when needed and get pets to safety before anything happens.

This way dogs and other pets have food, shelter, foster care, transport, vaccines and medical care before the chaos. That doesn’t mean that the foundation’s support stops there: They are also on the ground after a natural disaster to help the animals who need it most.

RELATED: Find Out How Rescue Dogs Turn Into Rescuers

ILMDSM assisted with rescue efforts following Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, and the group is raising funds for pets affected by the California wildfires. Currently, ILMDSM has hurricane-safe vehicles in the Carolinas so the can provide immediate assistance to animals caught in Hurricane Florence.

“The I Love My Dog So Much (ILMDSM) Foundation is currently preparing for relief efforts to assist the pets and animals of the Carolinas post Hurricane Florence,” foundation director Nic Perkin tells PEOPLE. “When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last year, the I Love My Dog So Much Foundation raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help with medical supplies, shelter, food, water and transportation for animals in need. Let’s come together and do the same for our friends in the Carolinas. All ILMDSM Foundation employees are volunteers. We strive to make every dollar count and to help as many animals as possible. Please help spread the word,” 

To assist ILMDSM in its efforts to protect pets from environmental disasters, you learn more at the non-profit’s website.


PEOPLE.com

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You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters

You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters


Author: Thomsen, Brian M. QUALITY PAPERBACK BOOKS (287 pages) Publisher: Harper Perennial, August 2004
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Types and Events of Disasters Organization in Various Disaster Situations: Part I

Types and Events of Disasters Organization in Various Disaster Situations: Part I


F.A. Bauhofer, Geneva In disaster situations, the particular concern of WHO is not so much to offer immediate relief and assistance for affected communities, but to have ready prepared plans for the provision of primary medical care as well as for resuscitation and casualty services. Disast- ers are characterized by a need for rapid assistance and by the inability of affected communities to cope with the large scale mortality, morbidity, and damage to essential installations and homes. In some highly elaborate and centralized societies even small- scale events may assume the proportion of a disaster, if they result in the serious break- down of vital services. The Executive Board of the World Health Organization has defmed disasters or “emergencies”, as situations where there are unforeseen, serious, and immediate threats to public health. Particularly severe disasters may be classified as catastrophes; such -occurrences, whether natural or man-made, disturb or overthrow the existing order. For planning purposes, it is important to distinguish between different types of catastrophes since they require special relief measures. In the past, medical assistance was primarily needed in epidemics of, for example, plague, cholera, and smallpox. Today, health authorities face emergency problems brought about by major accidents and outbreaks of chemical pollution and poisoning, which may have long-term effects. The role of health services may differ quite extenSively in different types of cata- strophes, and an attempt must be made to draw up specific plans to deal with them.

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Early Aviation Disasters

Early Aviation Disasters


David Gero’s highly successful Aviation Disasters, which reviewed major airliner crashes dating back to 1950, finally has an accompanying volume. Using the same format as its predecessor, Early Aviation Disasters examines major aviation catastrophes that occurred in the early days of commercial flight, prior to 1950. Long before the days of wide-bodied jets and supersonic travel, two, three and four-engine airplanes, flying boats and airships made their way over land and sea, connecting cities, countries and continents in what was then a revolutionary mode of transport. Some of these flights ended in tragedy, and these catastrophes are thoroughly reviewed in this illustrated book. The book recounts the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, the disastrous mid-air collision between an airliner and a fighter aircraft over Washington DC in 1949 and the loss of the British Star Tiger and Star Ariel transports, less than one year apart. Many other less well-known and even forgotten disasters were also covered in this fascinating new volume. David Gero has more than 30 years experience as a writer and magazine editor and has worked in television production for more than 25 years. He has long been interested in the subject of aircraft accidents, collecting information since the age of 13. He appeared as a consultant in a Discovery Channel programme on aviation accidents and has previously written the successful Aviation Disasters: The World’s Major Commercial Airliner Crashes Since 1950, which has been printed in five editions since 1993, and Military Aviation Disasters and Flights of Terror.

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Aviation Disasters

Aviation Disasters


Flying as an airline passenger is, statistically one of the safest forms of travel. Even so, the history of civil aviation is littered with high-profile disasters involving major loss of life. This work presents a list of major air disasters since the 1950s from across continents.

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4 Things Summer Brides Need to Worry About Now to Prevent Wedding Day Disasters

If you’re a June/July/August bride, you have weeks—or months, even—until your wedding day. If you start panicking now, you’ll have a meltdown or three before the day arrives. And still, there are a few details…




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4 Things Summer Brides Need to Worry About Now to Prevent Wedding Day Disasters

If you’re a June/July/August bride, you have weeks—or months, even—until your wedding day. If you start panicking now, you’ll have a meltdown or three before the day arrives. And still, there are a few details…




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Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan, 1841-2

Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan, 1841-2


Lady Sale (nee Florentia Wynch, 1790-1853) became an instant heroine when her journal of the disastrous events in Afghanistan in 1841-2 was published in 1843. The wife of Sir Robert Sale, second-in-command of the British forces, she was taken hostage, along with her daughter and baby grand-daughter, after the massacre of over 4,500 British troops at Kabul, while her husband commanded a besieged garrison at Jalalabad. The small group of hostages was moved from place to place, with only the clothes they stood up in, to evade attempts at rescue over a period of nine months. Eventually, they were able to bribe a tribal leader to release them, and they met up with a British rescue party just before Afghani pursuers overtook them. Lady Sale’s diary, carried in a cloth bag at her waist, was published almost unedited, and is an extraordinary account of her ordeal.

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Proof Positive That It Takes Great Vendor Relationships to Avoid Wedding Disasters

You can be the best wedding planner in the world, or the most effective and organized Do-It-Yourself bride and groom in the world, but if you don’t have good relationships with your vendors, you’re going to have problems pulling off a flawless wedding.

Let me be clear – no wedding is perfect. There are ALWAYS problems. But most of the time, the things that go wrong behind-the-scenes can be fixed before my clients even know about it. That’s the critical time when it’s up to the planner and the vendor to work together in a perfect duet in order to create things that don’t exist and make other things appear out of thin air. Without a TEAM of people working together to make sure an event comes together and runs smoothly, you’re looking at a potential nightmare.

However, if you have good vendor relationships, almost any problem can be solved. And as a planner, I can promise you that one of your vendors will save your butt in a big way – whether you’re a professional planner or it’s your own wedding. That’s the number one reason to spent time vetting and selecting the very best vendors.

But remember, you don’t build relationships with vendors overnight. And if you’ve been rude or nasty or dismissive of your vendor’s concerns prior to the wedding, it’s tough for them to be the best troubleshooters they can be when you call in a panic at the 11th hour. Treat them with professionalism and respect from the very beginning.

Last week, my company planned a fabulous wedding for a Broadway actress and her Dutch businessman fiancé on Vieques Island. They were fun to plan with, but the bride had a very specific vision in her head of what her wedding would look like – most especially the flowers. Her bouquet, in particular. As the planner, I had it all under control – at least the parts I could control. Being located on a small island located off the coast of Puerto Rico, sometimes there are a few things out of our control. Most commonly, the flowers.

I became a florist under duress. I had opened Weddings in Vieques on the tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico, and the one and only florist on the island was infuriating my brides. He couldn’t just look at a picture and copy what they wanted – he had to “interpret” it “creatively.” Let me assure you that interpretations of creativity can vary dramatically. The thing about living in such an isolated place is that we didn’t have any other vendor options. I followed the theory that if you want to have it done right, sometimes the only option is to do it yourself. That was seven years ago.

When I first started looking for a flower supplier in Puerto Rico, I got seriously frustrated. They don’t have elaborate websites – or any website at all – for the most case. My Spanish, while passable, is a challenge on the telephone where I sometimes can’t understand the rapid fire Puerto Rican dialect (even after living here for more than seven years).

What was worse was that when I did get some suppliers (I finally flew over to the big island and spent a day meeting with them in person to get all my questions answered), I quickly learned the hard way that my newness to the industry was getting me taken advantage of – they’d sell me anything expensive, even if it was something too delicate to actually work in this tropical environment.

Let me assure you that on an island off an island, you cannot use peonies, tulips, ranunculus, poppies, anemones, and a host of other really delicate flowers. Especially for outdoor weddings and events. It just doesn’t work. But nobody told me that – they just sold me flowers and then laughed at my horror stories of making them work the first few months. I learned to order safe backups in the same colors as the new flowers I was working with just in case. Flowers didn’t become profitable for my company for a long time.

And then I met Randall Franklin. He’s a sales rep at a company called Potomac Floral Wholesale in Silver Spring, Maryland – next to DC, my hometown. And I learned quickly that their company could send me just about anything that could be sent from the big island and get them here just as quickly. The difference was, Randall wouldn’t sell me things that wouldn’t survive the trip, or work in the Caribbean. He gave me excellent guidance.

He was a godsend and he talked me through hand-wiring orchids and sent me the supplies I needed. He held my hand through arrangements that looked so complicated to me that I wanted to scream, looking at the pictures and telling me exactly how it had been done and what I needed to use. I did my own homework too and taught myself everything I needed to learn along the way, but if not for the hand-holding of this flower guy back in the states, I would have had some legitimate disasters.

All along, I’ve continued to buy about half of my flowers from local San Juan suppliers. But the thing is that the flowers aren’t “local” even if they’re tropical – Puerto Rican suppliers are getting the vast majority of their flowers from the same place as any big supplier up in the states. Most roses come from Latin America and most of the world’s commercial orchid population comes from Thailand (a hot mess for weddings worldwide when political problems shut down their airport a few years ago). I buy from Puerto Rico when I can because of the shipping costs. But if I have something special or urgent, I call Potomac Floral Wholesale. Every time.

As my skills as a florist improved, we opened Flowers in Vieques to offer floral services to brides and grooms who weren’t my wedding planning clients. There are some beautiful hotels on this island and not everybody uses a wedding planner nowadays. DIY is big, even if destination-DIY is tricky. All of a sudden we were getting more unusual requests and needing more flowers more frequently.

The thing is, getting flowers only begins by ordering them. It’s actually having them arrive ALIVE and on time that’s nearly impossible down here. And we’ve had some close calls. Boxes of flowers stuck in customs for a couple of days and things like that. But Randall spent a LOT of time with me on the phone with UPS getting boxes grabbed and held in cold storage in San Juan while I put somebody on an airplane to the big island to get them. When you’re that far behind, you can’t wait for the one and only UPS guy to arrive on a ferry at almost 11 pm to deliver them to you the night before the wedding. Even if your company loses money, it’s better to personally retrieve them and have them in your hands as early as possible. What if the weather gets bad and the ferry doesn’t make its trip? I’d be screwed. I can’t take that risk – there’s only one strike in weddings.

At some point a few years ago, Potomac switched to FedEx. Nothing’s different about the delivery – the one and only FedEx guy comes and finds me wherever I am (at a wedding welcome party in a bar one night) at 10 or 11 pm when the last ferry finally arrives and he unloads the FedEx cargo. But he’s a nice guy and always texts me to let me know when he’ll be getting here and if he’s got my boxes. Sometimes, he doesn’t.

Enter the vendor-love-of-my-life, Andy Pagan – the general manager of Potomac Floral Wholesale. Randall was gone for the night when I realized we had a shipping problem and called for help. Our flowers were stuck in San Juan on a Friday night and wouldn’t be shipped til Monday. And we knew they’d be dead by then. Andy returned my urgent call and it turns out, he’s Puerto Rican. That’s key when you need to get through the automated phone system to contact the actual counter of the FedEx office by the airport in San Juan. He got them to put our flowers into cold storage and we had someone waiting at the back door of the FedEx building at 8 am the next morning to retrieve them. Disaster averted. 2014-12-14-DianeandRogierwelcomesign2.jpg

Last week, I had a similar problem. I couldn’t order my flowers down here for Diane Phelan and Rogier de Boer’s wedding because the garden roses she desperately wanted wouldn’t be on the big island early enough for a Thursday wedding. I’d planned ahead, carefully coordinating with Andy, and I thought for sure we’d have them Tuesday night, based on our last few shipments. But it was not to be. When I called my FedEx guy (how jealous are you that I KNOW who should have my flowers on the way to me) and he didn’t have them, I flat-out panicked. Diane was going down the aisle on Thursday at 3:30 pm. Best chance of delivery had become 11 pm on Tuesday night. And having been out of water so long, they’d need a good soak before we could start working with them to create décor and bouquets. If they weren’t dead.

I texted Andy in a panic and he contacted his rep immediately. At midnight, we were still on the phone sorting things out but Andy got FedEx to find the flowers (somehow mysteriously stuck in Memphis since 2:30 am the prior morning – see I told you they should have gotten here). Because of the GM’s persistence, FedEx found the box in Memphis and got it on an airplane to Puerto Rico. One of my employees flew to the big island, retrieved it as soon as it arrived on the 10 am flight (not without incident and holdups at Agricultura on the way in) and hand-carried those flowers back to Vieques on the next flight. 2014-12-14-DianeandRogierbridalbouquet.JPG

Not every vendor would have done that for just any customer. It takes relationship-building from the first moment you start planning weddings, even if it’s your own special day. Over the years, caterers have found unusual last-minute signature drink ingredients, even when they had to be brought in from St. Croix. And my cake lady has come through spectacularly even after a bride changed the cake flavor three times in the last week prior to her wedding. They didn’t have to do those things but they did – because I asked nicely and explained the predicament and didn’t yell or scream or make demands.
2014-12-14-DianeandRogierscake.JPG

A little bit of sugar goes a long way in wedding planning. The way you treat your vendors will be reflected in their performance at the wedding events. Being organized, keeping them in the loop, ALWAYS paying on time and thanking them for tremendous efforts is the way to make sure that when something goes wrong, you have a whole team behind you to help fix the problem. If your vendors won’t help you in a crisis, you’re working with the wrong vendors.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!
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“Night of the Clipper”: “In the Aftermath of One of the Nation’s Worst Air Disasters, One Passenger Remains.”

“Night of the Clipper”: “In the Aftermath of One of the Nation’s Worst Air Disasters, One Passenger Remains.”


“Night of the Clipper” is a ghostly story of mystery, action, suspense, and even budding romance centered in the small town of Elkton, Maryland. The date is December, 2013, and young Douglas Pledger and his family are newcomers to the neighborhood, after having moved to escape the bustle of the big city, and for his father, Rick Pledger, to begin a new law practice. For Douglas, confused and frustrated over having to leave his former home and friends, what should be a new beginning for this now-lonely ninth grader is just the beginning of strange and mysterious events that, initially, only he experiences. Douglas’ sister Marcy, his father Rick and his mother Rachel become gravely concerned with his sudden change in behavior. It isn’t until Douglas enlists the help of former firefighter, Dave Holt, Dave’s dog Gretchen and Dr. Celeste Creeley from Villanova University that the truth surrounding Douglas’ ghostly encounters becomes clear, after which the only question is, “What now?” Marcy, Rick and Rachel also become deeply involved as answers become known. For Dave Holt, a former fire fighter’s haunted past is awakened as he and Douglas become close friends. For Dave’s faithful dog, Gretchen, her uncanny instincts will help move the action in the most chilling ways as she helps guide the others to important clues. Celeste Creeley will be met with a realization she would never have anticipated before leaving her home in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, to travel to Elkton at Dave Holt’s invitation as the dynamic background story requires her presence there. Douglas’ sister Marcy, father, Rick, and mother, Rachel, will make a shocking transition from disbelievers to unwilling participants in a bizarre series of events as the action unfolds. Elkton CID detective Ed Neevers is initially on the outside looking in as the actions of the other characters present an entirely different picture, where his law enforcement responsibilities require that he begin to investigate the st

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