Among the many possible emergencies a pet owner needs to be prepared for, earthquakes can strike suddenly. While myths have suggested dogs can predict earthquakes, that doesn’t mean that they can fend for themselves during and after earthquakes. So here are some helpful hints to prepare yourself and your furry friend for an earthquake.
Pre-quake: Prepare a kit and practice earthquake drills.
The most important thing you can do, is have emergency supplies ready. While you can purchase pre-packaged kits, you can also do it yourself. You’ll want to add additional supplies to pre-packaged kits anyway.
Eric Rayvid of the Best Friends Animal Society suggests not only making sure your animal has water, food, and basic supplies, but also bowls to eat and drink with. He also advises including blankets to make a bed or help keep a pet dry along with kitty litter and poop bags for proper potty sanitation. And, perhaps most importantly, he says pet owners need to include any necessary pet medication and paperwork you have for your animal.
- 3-7 days worth of sealed food and water
- Crate or carrier
- Food/water bowl
- A current photo
- Medical records
- Pet medication
- Kitty litter or poop bags
- Basic cleaning supplies
Luckily, areas receiving federal funds in emergency situations must also provide assistance and shelters catering to household with pets. You will need basic paperwork for your animal, which is why it’s essential to have copies included in your emergency kit.
During the quake: Take cover and hold on.
When an earthquake strikes, grab your pet, take cover, and hold on. Animals will react differently in stressful situations, so be prepared to think and respond very quickly. In a best-case scenario, you and your pet can take cover together. The drills you’ve practiced will hopefully allow you to have a system in place that is familiar to your pet and will help keep them near you and safe during the earthquake.
In order to help your pet, you must put your safety first. If your pet runs away or into another room during an earthquake, wait until the shaking has stopped before searching for them. Most likely, they’ve found their own safe cover to ride out the earthquake. Practicing drills may help prevent your pet stay near you during an earthquake.
Post-quake: Damage control.
Knowing your pets go-to hiding spots is particularly useful in case your pet runs away during an earthquake. If your pet has escaped your home, spread the word as fast and as far as possible. Having a clear photo of your pet to share will also help. Lastly, ensuring your pet’s collar and microchip is up-to-date makes reuniting with him or her much easier.
BFAS, who help with rescuing and reuniting pets in all sorts of difficult situations, believe that microchipping is one of the most effective things you can do to make it easier to find your lost animal. Rayvid explains, “When a pet is microchipped, it’s an easy scan and maybe a couple of phone calls before a reunion. It becomes a matter of days as opposed to a matter of weeks — potentially even hours.”
In order to have peace of mind when thinking about an earthquake, do whatever you can to prepare. Talk to friends and family about what you’ll do in case of an emergency. Pick a safe meeting place in case you get separated or lose power. Know what to grab and who’s grabbing it (aka your pet and the preparedness kit) in case you have to meet up outside of any danger zone.
Don’t forget to continuously update any emergency kits you may have and look into first aid classes so you can help your four-legged friend if emergency response is delayed. While anything can happen in an earthquake, preparing beforehand and acting intelligently and quickly can make a difference when the time comes.
Want to learn more about your pup? Discover Here’s How To Prepare An Emergency Disaster Kit For Your Pet, Emergency Food Packs For Pets, Pledge To Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes at Cuteness.com!
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