As the recent California fires have shown us, disaster can strike at anytime and be very unpredictable. This got us thinking about other possible disasters and how we can be better prepared. Our biggest concerns in Southern California are earthquakes and fires, which give no warning and the damage can be tremendous. Some people have an idea of what they would do in an emergency situation like this but when it comes down to the line, that’s just not good enough.
An easy first step to get yourself and animals prepared is to get a Rescue Alert Sticker. This sticker will alert rescue workers of what pets you have inside the home. Of course, the hope would be to have the pets evacuated beforehand but this is a good last-resort to make sure people know your pets need help.
A vital part of disaster preparedness is your disaster kit. Some people have them for themselves, which is necessary, but so is one for your pets. If you are running out of the house with your pets it’s too late to think of what to grab for them and without a doubt something will be left behind. Put together an emergency kit for your animals that includes: a copy of medical records, at least 5 days worth of food, water, first-aid kit, a reference book, any medication they need, a crate or carrier, a blanket, toys, a recent picture of them, extra leash and collar, and for cats a bag of litter and litter pan, pet food dishes and water bowls.
Hopefully you have your and your pet’s emergency kits ready to go and you all make it out of the house. Where to next? Most human shelters don’t take in animals so it’s smart to find places where you and your pets can go and keep a list in emergency kits. Look up hotels or motels in the area that are pet friendly or other places that will take in animals during crisis situations. Knowing ahead of time where you and your pets can go ahead of time will save a lot of time and stress.
Remember, if there is a disaster and you must evacuate, take your pets with you. If you can’t stay there they should not be there either. It’s easy for animals to become disoriented or frightened during emergency situations and they may try to run away or hide. Make sure all your animals are microchipped with updated contact information if they should go missing. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with places they may hide in chaotic times. The more you can plan ahead of time the far better off you will be!
Share your disaster preparedness plans with us or let us know if you think we missed something!