Being awaken in the early hours of Tuesday morning by an earthquake this week reminds many Angelenos to be prepared for the next emergency or disaster, and among the varied essential items on that check list are our dogs. The best time to plan for an earthquake or the next natural disaster is before it occurs. That’s probably a statement of the obvious but via an informal and quick survey of friends and colleagues, too many continue to fail to put a plan in place.
So listen up, get prepared! With the recent disasters abroad in Haiti, Chile and the activity locally, let’s not postpone our earthquake preparedness any longer. Set a date to have your emergency kit and plan in place this week or month and fulfill on that promise for you and your dog.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Get a Pet and Human Emergency Kit together. Include items like food, water, cash, first aid kit, collar with ID tag, harness and/or leash, crate or pet carrier, sanitation items / toiletries, medicine(s), radio, flashlight, and clothes for both dog and human. Experts recommend supplies to get you and your dog through that first 72 hours.
- A Picture of you and your dog together. In case you two are separated, it will help you to be reunited with your dog if people know what they’re looking for.
- Form a plan. Delegate between family members who will be responsible for getting the dog, who will get the emergency kit and anticipate where you will go or meet if you are not together when it occurs.
- It’s always good to have a list for pet friendly hotels and motels if you have to evacuate your home quickly and need to find a place to stay.
- Develop a buddy system and form a partnership with neighbors who can access your dog in case you’re not home during the event.
- Compile a list of vets and veterinarian hospitals in other cities where you might needs to seek temporary shelter or assistance.
- Get and/or display “Pet Inside” stickers in the extreme event you have to evacuate without your dog and then followup with your local firefighters and other disaster officials to ensure your dogs is rescued.
During an earthquake remember the Duck, Cover and Hold dirll. Grab your dog, duck and drop to the floor and find cover budding up against an interior wall or big piece of furniture protecting your head, neck and pooch with your arms and hold the position until the ground stops shaking.
Small earthquakes in California come and go many times without much fanfare, and unfortunately we cannot predict when and where the next big one will hit. This past Tuesday morning as quickly as I awoke from the trembling of the house I quickly returned to sleep with little concern, but that may not always be the case. Rest assured it will happen again so please get and stay prepared because next time we may not have the option to fall back asleep.
For more info:
General Questions and Answers about Earthquakes
Frequently asked questions
County of LA Public Health – Build a kit
California Emergency Management Agency