Simple Steps to Keep Your Pets Safe Following a Natural Disaster

iStock
iStock

Even if you don’t live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, or tornadoes, it’s still wise to have a disaster response strategy in place—and to make sure it includes plans for any pets you have at home.

While most people would do everything in their power to avoid abandoning their pet, it's not unusual for animals to flee or get separated from their owners in the chaos surrounding a severe weather event. According to phys.org, the Louisiana SPCA estimated that about 15,500 animals needed to be rescued during Hurricane Katrina and, of those, 80 to 85 percent were never found by their owners.

But as Dr. Brian Beale of Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists pointed out in an interview with National Geographic, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of finding and reuniting with your pets.

First, be sure to microchip and register your pets with a national database. In most cases, microchip implants can be done at your local vet, animal shelter, or rescue group, and the procedure is quick, simple, and painless. When you’re ready to register your pet—and this step is crucial—fill out the enrollment forms provided by your vet or clinic, or check out the Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool for more information.

This may seem like a given, but you should also make sure your pet is wearing a collar containing their name, as well as your name, address, and phone number, Beale recommends. Once you’ve ticked that item off your to-do list, make sure you have current photos of your pets on hand. That way, if you do get separated, you can enlist others to help you find your pets again.

For more tips, check out National Geographic’s video below.

[h/t National Geographic]

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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A Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Has Been Discovered in Chile

Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
Great white sharks used prehistoric nurseries to protect their young.
solarseven/iStock via Getty Images

Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) may be one of the most formidable and frightening apex predators on the planet today, but life for them isn’t as easy as horror movies would suggest. Due to a slow growth rate and the fact that they produce few offspring, the species is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

There is a way these sharks ensure survival, and that is by creating nurseries—a designated place where great white shark babies (called pups) are protected from other predators. Now, researchers at the University of Vienna and colleagues have discovered these nurseries occurred in prehistoric times.

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, Jamie A. Villafaña from the university’s Institute of Palaeontology describes a fossilized nursery found in Coquimbo, Chile. Researchers were examining a collection of fossilized great white shark teeth between 5 and 2 million years old along the Pacific coast of Chile and Peru when they noticed a disproportionate number of young shark teeth in Coquimbo. There was also a total lack of sexually mature animals' teeth, which suggests the site was used primarily by pups and juveniles as a nursery.

Though modern great whites are known to guard their young in designated areas, the researchers say this is the first example of a paleo-nursery. Because the climate was much warmer when the paleo-nursery was in use, the researchers think these protective environments can deepen our understanding of how great white sharks can survive global warming trends.