Cat outside in earthquake rubble.

Even though the chance of earthquake damage is much lower in Auburn compared to other parts of California (it’s actually lower than the national average), every family should have an emergency preparedness plan in place in case disaster strikes. And, if you’ve added a furry friend to your family, be sure to update your emergency plan so everyone stays safe.

Making an emergency plan

When creating your emergency plan, prepare for the worst. Disaster can strike at any time and in any place. While some areas of the country are more susceptible to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or wildfires, other emergencies, like house fires and power outages, can occur in any state. Prepare for a potential disaster by completing these tasks:

  • Verify that your contact information is up to date on your pets’ ID tags and microchips. Proper identification and microchipping will greatly increase the chances of you and your pets being reunited if you are separated.
  • Save our office phone number and the phone number of an emergency animal hospital in your smartphone.
  • Purchase an appropriately sized pet carrier for each pet. Keep in mind that your pet may have to spend long hours in the carrier, so choose one large enough to keep her comfortable.
    • Label the carrier with your contact information.
    • Accustom your pet to the carrier before an emergency occurs.
    • Take short practice rides with your pet loaded in her carrier to acclimate her to traveling.
  • Exchange pet information, house keys, and evacuation plans with trusted neighbors or friends in case you are caught outside the evacuation line and can’t make it home for your pet.
  • Decide where your pets are going to stay, depending on the disaster. Keep in mind that public shelters may not allow animals inside, so plan appropriately.
    • Friends or family
    • Boarding facility, veterinary clinic, or animal shelter
    • Pet-friendly hotel along the evacuation route
  • Download the ASPCA mobile app.
    • Access advice on what to do before, during, and after an emergency.
    • Review an electronic checklist of necessary items for your disaster kit.
    • Store and manage your pet’s health records.
    • Receive step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost pet.
    • Create a digital lost pet flyer to quickly share.

All family members should know and be comfortable with tasks assigned to them in your emergency plan. Practice safety drills so everyone is familiar with their roles in the event of an actual emergency.

Creating a pet disaster kit

An emergency kit for your pets is a vital part of your disaster preparedness plan. Have this kit packed in advance, and regularly rotate items in and out so they don’t expire. A pet’s emergency kit should include:

  • Food, water, bowls, and a manual can opener (if feeding canned food)
  • Litter box and litter for cats
  • Waste disposal bags for dogs
  • Cleaning supplies for accidents
  • Medications
  • Heartworm, flea, and tick preventives
  • Vaccine history and medical records
  • First aid kit
  • Leashes, collars, harnesses, or carriers to safely transport and house your pet
  • Bedding
  • Toys, treats, and familiar items to alleviate stress
  • A flyer with information about your pet in case you get separated
    • Current photo
    • Name
    • Age
    • Sex and spay/neuter status
    • Color
    • Breed
    • Microchip number
    • Your contact information
    • A friend or relative’s contact information (someone who lives outside your immediate area)

Store these items in a sturdy, portable container, such as a duffel bag or plastic tote. Be sure that the food and medical records are in airtight, waterproof containers.

Locating a missing pet after a disaster

If the unimaginable happens and your pet is lost during a disaster, contact:

  • FEMA
  • Local humane societies or shelters
  • Veterinary clinics
  • National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams

If you are trying to locate a pet who is missing due to a natural disaster, contact your local or state emergency management agency. Placer County’s Office of Emergency Services can be reached at 530-886-5300.

If a disaster were to hit your home, would you be adequately prepared? For help creating an emergency plan and assembling a disaster kit, contact us at 530-823-6306.