We here in Cali recently had some pretty big quakes. Luckily here in the Inland Empire (IE) we weren't shaken up about it but it did remind us that we are overdue for another "Big One" so let's talk about how we can be better prepared.
If you're like me, earthquakes barely even wake you up and we are lucky enough to not have to worry about hurricanes or floods so our evacuation kit is mostly an old granola bar and a couple fast food napkins.
It's time we start taking Mother Earth seriously and listen to her warnings so if you have pets congratulations you're, on average, happier than everyone else but you also have more to worry about in case of an emergency.
During an earthquake it can be hard to walk and things fall from shelves so it's best to keep yourself safe first and let your cats and/or dogs find a safe spot on their own. This could prevent further harm from having to physically restrain them since most animals don't appreciate being held when the world is literally shaking. There's not much we can do while an earthquake is happening which is why it is vital that we prepare beforehand:
- Have a pet disaster kit ready and keep carriers, leashes and harnesses near the exit
- Always keep shoes next to your bed in case of broken glass and debris
- Know where in your home to ride out the quake/storm.
- If water contamination is possible, fill all sinks and tubs w/water
- Know where you'll go if you need to evacuate your home. Many emergency shelters do not allow pets! Ask friends or relatives if you can stay with them or look for pet friendly facilities.
- Know how to turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
- Have emergency numbers (like the gas company if you smell gas)
- Learn pet first aid
- Keep non perishable food in multiple places of your house.
- No pet left behind. If you have to leave your pets behind, DO NOT tether, crate, or restrain them in any way! This way they will have the best chance of survival.
- Make sure your animal has identification
- Tags with their name and your phone number and vital health information if needed
- Microchip with up to date information
- Print out multiple pictures of your pet and you with your pet.
- After a disaster, keep close watch on pets and don't let them wander, an event of this magnitude will surely leave them disoriented and afraid. Keep them away from power lines, debris, contaminated water, other animals, and strangers.
Immediate Evacuation List
- Printed photos of pets
- Map of the area (printed or download the area on google maps so it is viewable without a connection)
- Change of clothes
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Paw protectors
- Essential personal hygiene products
- Fire starter
- Small Headlamp
- Extra food for pets (cans last long but are heavy so Freeze Dried is a good option it is shelf-stable and light)
- Toilet paper
- Phone charger
Emergency Kit (plan for at least 3 days)
- Pet carriers, leashes, and harnesses
- Water filter system or 1 gal of water per day per being
- Canned food for your pets, it is shelf stable for a long time and they won't need to drink as much water.
- Heat source (if necessary)
- Pet first aid kit with how-to book like the Pet Safety Bible
- Bolt cutters
- Candles & lighters
- Manual can opener
- Solar powered radio or radio and extra batteries
- Phone chargers
- Toys for pets
- Cat litter
- Sanitary products for cleaning up after your pet
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Human first aid kit
- Any medications you or your pets need
- Multipurpose tool
- Copies of Personal documents
If you have a Reptile
- Same list as above
- Travel carrier
- Extra shelf-stable food (dehydrated worms and veggies, canned crickets, etc)
- Heat source
For Birds and Small Animals
- Same list as above
- Travel carrier
- Extra shelf-stable food