Saturday, July 11, 2015

3 Simple tips to safeguard pets when disaster strikes

Recent wildfires in every region of in BC are a wake up call to be prepared to evacuate with our pets.  Emergency evacuations can be very stressful if we aren't prepared to go.  Having a plan and a kit with 72 hours of essential supplies for your family and your pets can help to make things alot easier in a situation that demands an immediate exit.

Make a plan now as to where your pet can stay in an emergency.  During and immediately after an earthquake, wildfire, or flood situation, emergency services may too taxed to provide reliable accomodations for your animals.  If you can find your own pet friendly accomodations with a friend or family member ahead of time, you will have one less thing to worry about in an emergency.

 At the time of an emergency, you may not have the ability or the time to put together the supplies you need to go for at least 72 hours on your own.  Remember, in an emergency situation, power may be out.  Cell phone service may be unavailable. Even If stores are able to remain open, their shelves will likely soon be sold out of basic necessities within hours. Don't risk being caught unprepared.

Here's a list of things you can do now to help you and your animals survive a disaster.

  1. Arrange accomodations with friends or family in another area for your animals and for yourself, in case you need it.
  2. Plan for transportation of pets livestock.  Pets like dogs, cats, or birds can probably travel in your personal vehicle with you, but horses, pigs, goats and chickens will need a trailer.  
  3. Put together an Evac Kit for your family, and your animals.  Admitedly, my list is a little less minimalist than most out there but it has everything  here is what you should pack into a duffle bag or two:
Paper and pens
A sharpy
A roll of duct tape
Flashlight with spare batteries (one for each person)
Charged portable power pack
a battery operated radio with a spare set of batteries
cell phone (preferably for each person)
lighter and candles
toilet paper
Paper towels
small single burner cook stove with fuel 
Basic first aid kit (appropriate to the number of people in your group)
Basic first aid kit for your animals
Insect repellent 
Water purification tablets
A can opener
A sharp knife
Medication for humans or animals
72 hours worth of canned, pouched or dehydrated foods. If you bring dehydrated food, be sure to bring extra water
Paper plates, cups and cutlery
3-4 litres per day of drinking water for each person and enough water for each animal
72 hours worth of food for each animal
Instant Coffee or Tea and whitener/sugar
a tent 
crates, tie outs or leashes  to keep dogs and other animals from getting lost
Beds for your dogs
ID for all pets
Board Games or cards for children
Toys for your dog 
dishes for dogs and other animals
A small pot to heat water and food in
Sleeping bag and foamy for each person
Towel for each person and dog
Diapers and other supplies for babies
Clothing appropriate to the weather
Rain gear or a garbage bag
A good book or two
Don't forget to include items that will help you to be comfortable, like some nice wine, beer, your favourite tea, etc

When you have your kit together, store it in a dry place close to your vehicle.  If you don't have a vehicle, keep it near your door or in a seperate building, in case of an earthquake.

When you evacuate, leave a note on your door to tell emergency crews that you are gone, and who is with you.  If you have to leave livestock behind, use your sharpy to write your name and phone number on them and in the event of a wildfire, leave barns and gates open so they can escape if they need to.

After you have left, go to the emergency evacuation centre and register, so they don't come looking for you.