Pika the Cavalier is the Most Prepared Dog in Santa Monica
July 6, 2017
by Lindsay Barker
Pika is not only super cute but had an awesome pet first aid kit! This kit goes with their family on road trips so they are prepared no matter where they go. Congratulations to Pika and her owner who will receive a two-person disaster kit.
If you and your pet are not yet prepared for an earthquake, flood, or wildfire, here are my tips so your family can also be #SMPrepared.
First, You Need a Pet
I got to take pet preparedness photos with some of the animals available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter. If you’re looking for a fuzzy companion, the animals at the shelter were wonderfully sweet and looking for a forever home. Check out their 4th of July photos on Facebook or stop by and tell pups Sparkie and Penny that Lindsay sent you!
Get a Kit
My disaster kit has items just for my dog, Bailey: food, water, bowl, can opener, and treats (per Bailey’s request, peanut butter). In a gallon sized storage bag, I keep important documents including a copy of Bailey’s recent vaccination record, license and photograph. Our kit also has an extra leash, collar, ID tag and some toys to ensure Bailey stays safe and occupied if we have to evacuate our home. I also recommend having a carrier if your pet doesn’t travel well or is an escape artist. You can get a full checklist here.
Have a Plan
My emergency pet plan is for household emergencies and larger disasters. Bailey is microchipped which gives me assurance that if she gets lost – maybe chasing a squirrel or when she hears fireworks – we could be reunited. Be sure to keep the microchip record updated. In case of a house fire, I have an “Animals Inside!” sticker on a window to let firefighters know a dog’s inside. These stickers are available at the SM Animal Shelter for a small donation.
Have a plan to check on your pet after a disaster. If an earthquake happens, I’ll be heading to work at the City’s Emergency Operations Center. My family on the Westside has a set of house keys and know to check on Bailey if I can’t make it home. Have a pet plan with your family, friends or neighbors.
After a disaster, most sad stories involving pets occur because a pet is left at home when humans have to evacuate. If you need to evacuate, take your pet with you and know different pet-friendly places you could go. We have the information for several pet-friendly hotels or kennels we would call if we needed a place for our family or pup to stay.
FEMA and ASPCA have great information on caring for animals after a disaster. For those with more unique animals (birds, horses, goats, pigs, etc.), review FEMA’s website https://www.ready.gov/animals.
Resources are available for those individuals with guide dogs or animals who perform tasks to assist with a disability. Check out http://guidedogusersinc.org/tag/disaster-assistance/
Does your apartment building or neighborhood block have lots of furry friends? The Office of Emergency Management is available to host neighborhood or group preparedness discussions for groups of 15 or more. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-458-2263 to schedule a pet preparedness event.