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Care Of Your Pets During Disasters

A Dog on the beach

A major disaster can disrupt your pet's normal life as seriously as it disrupts your life. As a pet owner, it's your responsibility to look after its welfare and have provisions for the pet(s) in the event of a disaster.

Whenever possible, keep your pet with you. A frightened and confused pet will behave in an abnormal manner. Dogs left on their own will "pack together" and become vicious.

If you must leave your pet in the house, make sure you leave sufficient water and food for their survival. Good water sources for cats and dogs are that bathtub and toilet. Remember, a pet left in a car must have adequate ventilation, food and water.

Make sure your pet has a current tattoo or identification tag in case they are outside or get lose after an emergency.

Pet Emergency Kit

A basic pet earthquake kit should include the following:

  • A supply of food and water for at least 72 hours.
  • A food and water dish, a combination food/water dish is preferable.
  • A collar or harness and leash.
  • A portable kennel or cage. (Note: This will make an excellent container for the kit!)
  • A blanket or cover for the pet, if the pet is a household interior type pet.
  • Health and vaccination records for your pet(s).
  • Identification tags for your pet(s).
  • Any first aid or medicine that your pet(s) require.

Remember: Your pet is not a wild animal which is accustomed to feeding on its own - You are your pet's survival resource!

Animals are known to be able to "predict" or sense earthquakes coming. During and after a quake, you can expect your pet to be extremely nervous and sensitive to sounds and external stimuli. You can give reassurance to the pet if you use a calm voice and remain in your actions.