I hope we can trust homeowners but how do we know if we have a situation where the home has been damaged or in the middle of the process of being repaired from a natural disaster?
How do we know that the area around the home isn’t in rough conditions from flooding, fires, tornado damage?
Does THS do anything about ensuring pictures are current?
I think this is an area for due diligence for sitters. It’s up to us to research the area we will potentially sit. We cannot rely on THS for everything. I treat THS has an introductory service and do all my own research. We have to take responsibility. A natural disaster or incident can happen anywhere.
As for up to date pictures, that’s our main reason asking for a video call. We always ask for a walk through of the house and we like to see the pets interacting with the owners.
We have been in two situations where “natural disasters “ could potentially happen. The first one, a large earthquake in Mexico which damaged the HO apartment. We weren’t there yet but he immediately contacted and cancelled and offered to pay for our flights. I think he had enough on his plate and told him to forget about it as they were cancellable.
The second was over this Christmas. We knew Quito, Ecuador was a hot spot. There was a 4.4 earthquake near by on Christmas Eve then I got an alert about the large volcano starting to spew smoke and ash on Boxing Day. No great deal as it happens all the time or so our research had told us.
If you have any inquiries the best people to ask are the pet parents. We cannot expect THS to wipe our noses every time we sneeze.
There you are.
PS: I am a natural disaster
Very good suggestions Thank YOU!
As we’ve learned from recent events, natural (or semi-natural) disasters can occur anywhere/anytime. I grew up in New Orleans so do think about the potential for having to clear out of a place - transportation, where to evacuate, etc. And I do talk with the HO about it too.
Last summer I was sitting near to where the flooding was happening in the UK and I did a sit north of SF last spring and the HO briefed me on connecting the generator (in high winds the power company turned things off to avoid the possibility of fire) and how to corral the 3 cats into their travel boxes in case we needed to evacuate (the sit included use of a car).
But you never know - on a sit in Colorado, the gas was turned off to the whole town for 2 days (leaving buckets of water in the sun to have a warm bucket bath) and then the electricity went off for a day.
Sitting in SF and the bay area, aware of the possibility of earthquakes.
I don’t think anyone can predict a natural disaster and it certainly isn’t THS’s responsibilities to advise members of that. I think homeowners should share info on their listings if they are recovering from an aftermath of a disaster and I have seen such listings noting that.
As Elsie noted, sitters should do their research when applying for sits. I always check out the weather for the time of year of the sit as well as the political climate and do my research.
We were very transparent in our sit listing and with potential sitters about our bad storms and how to monitor for those and precautions to take. So they could accept or reject our sit knowing this.
As sitters, we do lots of research on areas before we apply and always ask about local weather during our sit period when we video connect with the home owner. Hadn’t thought about volcanos as we haven’t applied for sits in those areas but note to self for the future…“ask home owner about potential natural disasters”.
So far good advice an i appreciate it. I find more an more listings are being put up months in advance.