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Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

A tsunami is just one of a number of disasters and emergencies we can expect in the ACRD. Unfortunately, many people do not think to prepare for disasters especially where their pets are concerned. Advance planning is essential – it could save your pet’s life and make yours much easier during a disaster or emergency.

Remember that your pet is not a wild animal that can fend for itself – it depends on you to provide its essential needs.

Plan Ahead

  1. Acquire a pet carrier (portable kennel) or crate for each house pet and familiarize the pet with it.
  2. Ensure your pet's vaccinations and records are up-to-date.
  3. Have a leash and properly fitting collar/harness quickly accessible.
  4. Determine the best location in your home to place your pets during a disaster or emergency. The site should be away from windows and in a utility area, bathroom, kitchen or easily cleaned area.
  5. Acquire a one week's supply of water, canned or dried pet food and kitty litter for your pet.
  6. Acquire plenty of newspapers, plastic bags, cleaners and disinfectants to properly handle pet wastes.
  7. Have non-spill water and food bowls.
  8. Have a week's supply of any medications that your pet is taking.
  9. Have photographs of your pets so as to aid in the identification of your pet should it stray during a disaster or emergency.
  10. A blanket or towel should be a part of your Pet Emergency Kit.

Due to health regulations, animals (except assistance and guide animals) are not allowed in Reception Centres. If you and your pet are evacuated, Emergency Social Services (ESS) will provide temporary pet care at the Reception Centre while you are being registered and provided with services.

ESS will make every effort to keep your pet with you in any accommodations that may be provided. In the ESS Plan, volunteers will assist you to take care of your pets but you can plan for this by asking friends or family members to provide foster care for your pet.

A confused pet may behave abnormally. Indeed, animals have been known to predict earthquakes. You can expect your companion to be unusually nervous, sensitive to sounds and external stimuli. Your voice and actions should project reassurance and calm.

If you plan to leave your house and leave your pet behind, remember:

  1. Give your pet access to a safe, secure room without windows but with adequate ventilation, such as a bathroom. Leave enough food for at least three days. A sufficient supply of water is critical. One animal can easily drink several litres of water a day when under stress. Place water containers that aren't easily knocked over and leave a faucet dripping into a bathtub or sink with an open drain. Leave familiar bedding and safe toys.
  2. Birds must eat daily to survive. Use special food dispensers if you must leave them behind.
  3. Never leave a cat with a dog even if the two are normally friendly.
  4. Confine and keep small pets (birds, hamsters, etc.) away from cats and dogs.
  5. Provide access to high places, such as countertops, in case flooding occurs.
  6. Difficult or dangerous animals should be left in special crates or cages to reduce the possibility of them getting loose.
  7. Place a notice on your front door advising that pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a telephone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.
  8. Never leave a dog tied outside.

"Surviving a Disaster is Everyone's Business"