Pet Disaster Plan
Haiti. Chile. Mexico. We’ve all seen the footage on TV of the devastation brought on by earthquakes in the last couple months. We know Southern California is expecting one. We just don’t know when.
We have been told multiple times to expect the “Big One.” If you’re anything like us, it goes in one ear and out the other. We all know it’s going to happen, but we never seem to take it seriously.
Unfortunately, earthquakes are not Southern Cal’s only natural disaster. We also have fire and flood to worry about. Yet, many of us still aren’t prepared. Even if we are prepared, have we thought about our pets? Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) gives the following tips:
- Make sure that your pet’s houses and gates are secure. Loose nails can cause injury. Gates that aren’t sturdy or secured properly may open during an earthquake, allowing animals to escape.
- Have your pet microchipped and ensure that they are always sporting their tags. If they do get out, it will be easier to reunite with them.
- Display “pet alert” signs on doors and windows. These signs will alert emergency personnel that there are animals inside, how many and what type. If you take all the pets, post “animal evacuated” signs so first responders can move to the next house. “Pet alert” and “evacuation” signs are available from spcaLA.
- Keep vaccinations current. Your animals may end up in a shelter with other animals who may not have been vaccinated. Keep their records with you when you leave your house.
- Learn first aid and pet CPR in case you are trapped and unable to get help in an emergency.