Originally published Oct. 2008, reposted Oct. 2012

Pet Disaster Plan

For many Californians’ natural disasters such as earthquakes and fires are realities.  In July 2008, So Cal was rocked by the 5.4 Chino Hills earthquake and who can forget the 2010 Mexicali 7.2 earthquake.

Each October California has the Great Shake Out, a drill geared toward earthquake preparedness.  If you would like to participate in the Shake Out drill, the event will be on Oct. 18, 2012.

In efforts to get you emergency ready, this will guide you in supplies needed, a few tips and refer you to resources for more detailed information.

Essential pet emergency supplies:

{3-7 days worth of supplies is recommended}

•        Water:  At least 1 gallon per person for consumption and cleaning.

•        Food:  Unopened bags will be best for storage purposes.  Make a note on calendar or a reminder on your cell phone calendar to replenish food items and check expiration dates.

•        Clean Air:  Nose, Mouth, eye barriers and air purification system.

•        Pet emergency supply kit:  Pet first aid kits come in traditional and homeopathic versions.  For a list of specifics needed for cats, dogs, horses and reptiles & amphibians, please see UAN’s EARS program.

•        Pet feeding dishes: bring your regular bowls or a compact version to save on space.

•        Leash:  Have an extra one in case of a break or you need to help another pet.

•        Pet identification:  Whether you use a pet ID tag, microchip, flash drive or GPS system to identify your pet, please make sure you keep this information update to date and SECURED to your pet at all times.

•        Kennel:  A dog crate or cat carrier is great tool for pets who are upset by the events.  They can be helpful with other small pets such as birds too.

•        Blanket:  Good for keeping small pets warm.

•        Towel:  To scoop up a scared cat or wipe down your pets paws.

•        Medical supplies:  Records and medicine (prescription, flea treatment, vitamins and so forth).

•        Pictures:  Recent prints or digital pictures will be helpful in the event you & your pet are separated.  Current clients can tag themselves in pictures on our Facebook page to get current pictures of their pets.

•        Toys:  Bring their favorite stuffed animal, ball or chew toy. This will keep them occupied and with familiar things around them it should help them feel at ease.

•        Toiletries:  poop bags, kitty litter, hand wash and towels.

•        Garbage bags:  Use for clean up, a tarp or rain poncho.

•        Important phone numbers:  Make a list of numbers to 1) animal hospitals 2) pet friendly lodging 3) animal control or rescue organizations 4) shelters.  Find places in your immediate area as well as 150 mile radius should you need to evacuate your home or it becomes uninhabitable.

Other critical disaster supplies:

•        Cash:  Make sure to have some cash at your fingertips as ATM’s might not be working.  Some singles are a good idea in the event you need to buy something and no one has any change.

•        Gas:  Fill & store a gas can in a safe place.  Another option would be to make it a rule to never allow your car to be below ½ a tank).

•        Radio & Flashlight:  Make sure you have plenty of fresh batteries.

•        Tools:  Devices like a wrench may come in handy in case you need to turn on & off gas or water lines in your home.

•        Carrying device:  If you have to keep a lot of items with you while on foot, a wagon or cart would come in handy.

•        Sturdy shoes/boots:  Sorry this is not a time that will be ideal for flip flops.

•        Road maps & directions:  You may not have Internet access to look up directions and roads may be closed.

•        Deck of cards:  You can use this to mark a trail to and from your location.

Other Tips:

•        TransportationIf you need to take a cab in NY, I was informed a cab driver may not turn you down during times of evacuation. Hopefully that applies here in San Diego County.

•        Shelter: Some evacuation centers are accepting pets.  However they may have them segregated to a different areas to accommodate those with pet allergies.  Please bring your pets in on a leash or in a carrier.

•        Important Documents:  Copies of ID and insurance policy should be kept in a waterproof container/safe.  Other options are scan copies to put on a flash drive and/or make copies to send them to an emergency contact. Finally take a video of your possessions.  If you have to make a claim you will need something to jog your memory.  It may also serve as proof to satisfy your insurance company during a claim.

•        Food/Water:  Replace your kit supplies every few months to ensure freshness.  To help you remember this important task, make a note on the calendar or set a reminder on digital calendar.

•        Stress:  Pets are sensitive to stress.   ***Remember pets can become confused or disoriented, so proceed with caution when approaching unfamiliar pets.***

•        Pet window decal:  These let emergency personnel know you have a pet inside your home.  If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers.

•        Supply location: Make sure you keep the supplies somewhere accessible and won’t be covered by a collapse (garage may not be the best idea).

Here are a few examples of how I am practicing emergency preparedness

In a folding shopping cart I have:

•       Water: I use a water purifier and store filtered water in re-usable bottles.

•       Food:  For myself: Shakes and food bars.  No need for cooking anything or carrying cooking tools with me.  For my dog, sealed dog food.

•       Air Quality:  Mask for my mouth and an air purifier to eliminate all the dust, dirt, dander etc… that will be floating around.

•       Emergency kit:  people and pet combo.

•       Pet supplies: pet food (never opened, to stay fresh), several leashes, blankets, towels, medicals records, toys, medicine, poop bags, brush and list of pet friendly hotels are all stored in a back pack.

•       Pictures:  Many current pic’s of my dog are stored on my cell phone. For homeowners, take pictures of your home & belongings as proof in the event you have to file an insurance claim.

•       Phone numbers: Animal Control, Animal Hospitals, American Red Cross, and CA Evacuation hot line phone numbers are stored in my cell phone.

•       Clothes:  Several sets of clothes stored in a rolling luggage bag, next to my folding shopping cart.

**Trying to decide what to take with you and packing could take upwards of 2 hours.  Please do not wait until the last minute as sometimes you have no warning and no time to prepare.***


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Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. If your pet has a medical problem, please seek medical attention from your veterinarian. Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails will do our best to ensure that information presented is accurate and up-to-date. Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails does not accept any responsibility for damages, loss or illness which may arise in connection with the use of the information published on this website. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Opinions expressed here are those of individual contributors. © Happy Trails & Wag’n Tails, 2006-2019. All Rights Reserved.

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