Any relief after realizing that the 5.4 late-morning earthquake wasn’t the Big One is coupled with the certainty that we will experience a shaking more damaging than the recent one. If the quake sent you scrambling for your disaster-preparedness list, make sure that your pet is provided for on it. The following is a list and several Web sites to help you.
Emergency Evacuation Checklist—Plan Ahead!
1) Food—two-week supply (don’t forget a manual can opener)

2) Water—two-week supply

3) Identification—Keep a collar and an ID tag on each animal; microchipping is best because it’s permanent. KEEP A CURRENT PHOTO OF EACH ANIMAL WITH YOU IN THE PICTURE TO PROVE OWNERSHIP.

4) Medications/First Aid—Prepare a basic first-aid kit. Prepare a collar with medical conditions and needs somewhere on it. List any special conditions/health problems your pet may have.

A dog rescued after Hurricane Katrina.  Photo courtesy of the United Animal Nations

5) Restraints—You will need harnesses, extra leashes, a collapsible crate or kennel, a tie-out stake or cable for exercise, and blankets or towels. For cats, remember the litter box and litter.

6) Specific Information—Any behavioral problems or issues; if the pet is friendly to children, cats or dogs; feeding schedule; and vet’s phone number.

7) Toys

8) Housing—Find out now what hotels and motels allow pets in the event of a disaster. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) publishes a book titled Traveling with Your Pet – The AAA PetBook, available for sale at their offices.

9) Travel—Keep in mind that major highways may be closed. Have a map of your area ready. Make sure your car does not get low on gasoline.

The Humane Society of the United States
Surf City Animal Response Team
United Animal Nations
American Veterinary Medical Association for sources.

Pets are family too! Don’t evacuate without your pets, and prepare for emergencies. By planning ahead, your pets will be safe and comfortable when disaster happens.

Peeping out of an emergency carrying crate.  Photo courtesy of the United Animal Nations