Take a few minutes to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for yourself and your pet. It is important to include care for your pet when you prepare to evacuate.
The emergency managers of Santa Barbara County want to remind you to take the following steps to ensure your whole family’s safety, including your pet’s.
Basic supplies can be kept in a “go bag” for your pet:
• Food, Dish and Water for five days – Make sure you remember a manual can opener.
• Medications and medical records – stored in a waterproof container.
• Sturdy leases, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pet(s) can’t escape.
• Current photos of you with your pet(s) and descriptions of your pet(s) to help others identify them in case you and your pet become separated.
• Other useful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, toys, and grooming items.
Also, ID your pet – Make sure that your dog or cat is wearing a collar and identification that is up to date and visible. Find safe lodging for your pet ahead of time. Find a pet-friendly hotel or motel outside your immediate area. Ask about any restrictions on number, size and species. Inquire if the “no pet” policies would be waived in an emergency.
As a note, pets are not allowed in American Red Cross Shelters. However, in Santa Barbara County, the Red Cross and County Animal Services have an agreement to try and keep pets as close as possible to their owners, as long as pets are kept in carriers.
More information about disaster planning for your pets can be found at http://www.countyofsb.org/phd/animal.aspx