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In light of the recent fires in Southern California it has come to my attention that I should have an emergency evacuation plan for my dogs. One of our readers sent us a link to an LA Times article that lists a few safety precautions to help prepare us and our pets for a disaster evacuation. Here’s the list from the LA Times article: Southland wildfires: When pets must be evacuated:
Pet Evacuation Safety Tips
Disaster officials recommend that you put together an emergency preparedness plan specifically for your pets. Various organizations such as Homeland Security, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the American Red Cross recommend the following:
- Prepare a pet emergency supply kit. In watertight containers, pack at least three days of food and water for each pet and include medicine and veterinary records, first aid kit, collars with ID tags, a harness or leash, a crate or a pet carrier, and sanitation supplies such as plastic bags, disinfectants and paper towels.
- Preselect shelter sites and resources. Prepare a list of phone numbers of local animal shelters and hotels and motels that take pets. Include the names and numbers of friends or family who can temporarily care for the pets. Have a buddy system with a good neighbor who would be willing to check on your animals in case you’re not home.
- At first warning of an evacuation, act quickly. Bring pets into the house so you don’t have to look for them if you must leave quickly. Try to call ahead to arrange emergency shelter for your pet. Make sure your dog or cat has current identification.
- If pets must be left behind … alert local animal control and, if necessary, give animal control officers permission — and keys — to enter your home to rescue the pets.
One other point I remember hearing/seeing/reading somewhere was that you should have a pet emergency card on your refrigerator alerting rescue officials of the pets in your house, their names, and any additional information. This can be very important information as I’m sure many animals would hide from:
- A firefighter in full uniform
- A stranger
- When scared by natural disasters (fires, earthquakes, hurricanes…etc.)
If rescue officials know that their are two cats and two dogs in the house then they could look for all four pets.
Does anyone else have helpful pet evacuation safety tips?
We also recently experienced the horrible earthquakes and tsunami’s in Japan and the horrific aftermath. If you’re looking for some more information on safety then take a look at our article on Earthquake Safety Tips For Your Pets.