Be Prepared

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San Diego Humane Society is urging all people who have animals to ensure they have an emergency plan in place for their pets and livestock.

Whether an emergency occurs because of an illness, wildfire, earthquake, or other disaster in San Diego County, planning ahead is the key to keeping you and your animals safe. “San Diego is no stranger to disasters, and we have our Emergency Response Team at the ready to help if needed,” said Chief of Humane Law Enforcement Bill Ganley. “But it starts with you at home. You can protect your loved ones and reduce the burden on first responders. If an emergency should happen, animals cannot fend for themselves and we don’t want anyone to be faced with the difficult decision to leave them behind because they didn’t prepare for an emergency.”

San Diego Humane Society recommends the following tips for emergency planning:

1 Prepare an Emergency Kit

Put all your daily pet supplies in a sturdy two-week supply of food, water, and your pet’s forget vaccination records, bowls, crates, bedding, and toys. Keeping your pet comfortable will reduce stress during an evacuation.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

2 Practice Transporting Your Pet

Make sure your pet is comfortable getting into a carrier and know where your pet hides when he is stressed and scared.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

3 Plan for Large Animals

If you have large animals/livestock, have trailers or travel containers available for all of them. Practice with your animals in advance, so they are used to being loaded and unloaded from their trailers. Work with neighbors to identify locations where large animals can be brought on foot (especially large open areas that can provide safe spaces during fires). These spaces will be critical if you do not have time or space to evacuate all your large animals, and you will not be allowed to reenter mandatory evacuation areas, even for your own animals. Don’t

4 Identification for Your Pet

Make sure your pets are wearing identification at all times. This includes animals who don’t normally go outside. Collars with tags that have your phone number are important. Having your pet microchipped can also help identify them if they become lost. Make sure you keep your address and phone number up to date on the tag, as well as with your microchip company.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

5 Plan Ahead

Not all evacuation shelters accept pets, so it’s important to prepare. County information sources such as ReadySan Diego. org and ListoSanDiego.org (Spanish) can help. Research hotels outside your area for pet policies and ask friends or family if you and your pets can stay with them in case of disaster.

6 In Case of Illness

Create a “care tree,” detailing how your pets will be cared for if you become sick or hospitalized. Have two to four options lined up in case additional people become sick or their circumstances change.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

7 Leave Early and Take Your Pets

If you are evacuating your home, take your pets with you. Pets cannot fend for themselves during disasters and leaving them behind can risk both their lives and those of rescuers. Leave early and don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

8 In Case You’re Away

A disaster may strike or an order to evacuate may come when you’re away from home. Make arrangements in advance with a trusted neighbor to take your pets and meet you at a specified location.

9 Learn Pet First Aid

The last thing you want is to be frazzled if your pet is injured. Spare yourself (and your pet) a delay of precious time by familiarizing yourself with what to do if your pet becomes injured.

“SAN DIEGO IS NO STRANGER TO DISASTERS, AND WE HAVE OUR EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM AT THE READY TO HELP IF NEEDED.” —CHIEF OF HUMANE LAW ENFORCEMENT BILL GANLEY

COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY

110 Know Your Vet

Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Be sure to add the contact information to your emergency kit.

More disaster preparedness information can be found on San Diego Humane Society’s website: sdhumane.org/disasterprep.

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Nina Thompson
Nina Thompson is the media contact for the San Diego Humane Society. sdhumane.org

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