Include Pet Supplies in Your Emergency Evacuation Kit
Southern California is a beautiful place to call home. Unfortunately, the land also has its share of natural disasters. Earthquakes, fires, the occasional flood affect our furry friends as much as us, but there are things we can do to help them get through safely with us.
One thing to consider when preparing the family's emergency kit is food for the entire family, including your dog and cat. Pet food stores well, but there's no realistic way to take an entire bag of dry pet chow in a portable emergency kit. Instead, bag one pound of food in a plastic zip lock bag and date the bag. Rotate it out every three months so the food will be fresh if (when) you need it. Also include two cans of food per pet. It may not be the amount they are used to, but it will tide them over until you're in a safe shelter.
Allow 2 quarts of drinking water per pet per day. It's not as much as you'll need for each human family member because your pets eat dry food and need less water for dish washing and cooking.
Basic Emergency Supplies
Blanket or mat
Collar & leash
Keeping Pets Occupied in an Emergency Shelter
Getting out of danger is, of course, the first event in every evacution situation. Finding a safe place to stay is the second. Then, boredom sets in, especially for kids and pets.
One of the simplest solutions to keeping everyone occupied is simply spending time playing with or grooming the pets. The dogs love the attention, the kids (and you) feel like they are doing something useful.
If your shelter accepts pets, there are bound to be other dog owners who need to exercise and calm their pets. Work with the shelter administrators to set up a coned off exercise loop where you and your temporary neighbors can safely walk your dogs on leash without being in anyone's way. An area as small as three parking spaces can be roped off with multiple U-turns and a loop back to maximize your short walking track.
Kids and Pets
Buying a puppy for your children can be a wonderful gift for the family. Research pure bred dogs at the American Kennel Club or find a rescue pup at the animal shelter, but always plan to take obedience training classes when you've chosen your new family member. Dog obedience courses help your new pet know the rules, but equally as important, they help you and your kids learn how to reinforce obedience training at home.