Pet preparedness is important to me because my dog Oakley came into my life during the Oak Fire in Mariposa.
Unfortunately, the emergency conditions her owners found themselves in meant that they were unable to keep her safe during the wildfire evacuation. Because of her history, Oakley and I have taken several steps to be prepared. If we ever had to go through an emergency together, it is important to me to keep her safe.
The first thing I did is build Oakley a pet emergency kit that goes with her anywhere she goes. It has items such as extra food, water, collapsible bowls, a leash, waterless doggy shampoo, towels, bags and of course, a bone! If I go out of town and she has to go stay with someone, the bag goes where she goes. It gives me peace of mind knowing that in an emergency, I can grab that bag and have everything I would need to take care of Oakley.
Second, I include her in my evacuation drills. When I’m practicing my 2-Minute Home Fire Escape Plan, I make sure to include Oakley. We practice me calling her from the house and her meeting me at our meeting spot. If only I could train my cats to do the same!
Third, I pay attention to where Oakley and the cats hide when they’re scared. During thunderstorms or fireworks, I pay attention to where Oakley and the cats go in the house to feel comfortable. It’s hard to think about, but I know that if there was a house fire, I would have to focus on getting myself out safely. Once I’m out safely at my meeting spot and calling Oakley doesn’t work. I can tell the firefighters where she goes when she’s scared and they will try to help her. I hope we’re never in that situation, that’s why we practice our 2-Minute Home Fire Escape Plan together, but I want to be prepared.
In an emergency, your pets will be even more dependent on you for their safety and well-being. Your family’s disaster plans must include your furry family members too. Today and every day, I encourage you to learn what to do to keep your beloved pets safe! Find information on pet preparedness here.