Today at 10:21am (on 10/21) millions of people participated in the “Great California Shakeout,” a drill for schools, businesses, and families to practice safe earthquake procedures. It’s good for us to know what to do in an earthquake, but have you considered what to do for your beloved pets before, during, and after an earthquake?
Here are some good principles to remember for animal earthquake safety:
- Keep at least one week of food on hand in case of emergencies. A good idea is to also keep a can opener, some utensils, and an extra feeding dish with it, too.
- Fresh water for you and fresh water for your pet! Puddle or runoff water can be contaminated, so make sure you pack extra water for your animals.
- Identification, extra collars and leashes are very important to keep your pet safe and secure during emergencies. Pack a few with your emergency preparedness kit.
- You may wish to keep some extra pet toys, or a familiar item for your animal, in your kit to help them stay calm and comfortable.
- Medical kits are important, too! Keep a vet guide, or animal medical guide, in your emergency supplies.
- During an earthquake, try not to hold your animal during the shaking. They will instinctually protect themselves during stressful circumstances. For example, my cat will run to my closet and hide behind my shoes when he’s feeling frightened or stressful (the garbage truck is pretty scary, evidently!). After the Easter earthquake last year, that’s where he immediately fled to for protection.
Follow your family plan for emergencies and always listen to emergency personnel during the times of crisis. And remember to practice your plan a few times during the year so your family emergency plan stays fresh in your mind.
With a little planning and knowledge, we can prepare our entire family, including our four legged family members, for an earthquake, fire, or any kind of emergency. We here at the Center want all your family members to stay safe!
Here are some more resources on keeping your family safe during an earthquake, or any kind of emergency: