Thursday, February 9, 2017

Be Prepared

Living in Southern California you become familiar with not only the threat of earthquakes but also the yearly threat of wildfires.  Since we are in the midst of a wet winter, and we haven't had a substantial earthquake in years, it's easy to become complacent in safety and preparedness.  But what about everyday emergencies?
We forget to consider the smaller emergencies that can happen in day-to-day life that might keep us from our pet or force us from our homes temporarily.  
Consider the following scenarios:  
  • You work in Los Angeles and you get a call that your house in on fire.
  • You are in Chicago and you get a call that your wife has gone into labor 3 weeks early.
  • You are in a car accident and consequently stuck in the hospital for a week.
  • A pipe broke and your house is flooded forcing you to evacuate until the damage is repaired.
Each one of those scenarios can happen and the last thing you want to stress over is “Who is going to get my dog” or “who is going to watch my pets?”  
Sadly, most people don’t even have an emergency preparedness plan for themselves, let alone for their animals.  But if you spend just a couple of hours one weekend coming up with an emergency plan for your family, it will save you stress and time in an emergency situation, when every second counts.
5 Steps to Becoming Prepared
Step 1
Rescue Alert Sticker- These stickers are meant to go in the front window of your home, in case of an emergency, someone else can be sure all of your pets get out safely.  
The sticker should say:
  • The types of pets you have 
  • How many you have of each pet
  • Your emergency contact number.
If you are able to evacuate your pets yourself, and you have time, try to remember to write “Evacuated” across your sticker so no one risks their life trying to save pets that are not in danger.
You can buy this sticker at most pet supply stores, ask your veterinarian if they have any, or order one for free from theASPCA website.

Step 2
Arrange for a Safe Place- In the situation when you will not be able to keep your pet with you (for example, if you are evacuated to a Red Cross Shelter) you should have a back-up plan already in place for their safe keeping.  This safe place can be local (if you are having a personal emergency) or in another county out of harm’s way.  It is probably best to have a Plan A for local and a Plan B for non-local safe places in case you are forced out of your city.
To find a safe place:
  1. Put Dachs 2 Danes on your boarding facility list along with a couple of back-up options, like your vet.
  2. Look up a local boarding facility for your additional pets. While all boarding facilities take dogs, only a few take cats, and very few will take other household pets or horses (but that could always change in a state emergency).  
Your dog and cat must be current on their vaccinations to stay at any boarding facility, so be sure your pets are up to date on all requirements to avoid any problems in an emergency.

  1. If you should be forced from your home and need a temporary place to stay with your dog, a local motel or hotel may be an option. For your emergency plan, it might be best to pick a franchise that you know will allow dogs, no matter what city it is in, like Motel 6.  That way you can go as far as you need to and still know where to find a place to stay. 
Keep in mind, the hotels/motels charge $15 & up, per night, for dogs to stay. Call the hotel or check their website to learn about their pet policy.
Step 3
Emergency Supplies & Traveling Kits
To Be Continued...