In San Francisco, we live with earthquakes. The memories of past quakes, and the knowledge of future ones. That means having enough basic supplies, first aid and water for 72 hours - for everyone in the household including pets. This type of disaster preparedness is in addition to having an exit strategy from the home in case of fire, something probably more likely to happen than an earthquake.
In other parts of the country, such as New Orleans, people prepare for hurricane season and having an evacuation plan. Wherever you live, and especially if you have both children and pets, planning ahead is key.
Important questions to ask yourself ahead of any emergency:
Do you live in a multi-story home? If your bedroom is upstairs, do you have a fire escape ladder that can handle the weight of you and your dog?
Have you ever practiced trying to navigate your home in the dark?
How fast can you exit to safety?
Would you need different evacuation plans for fire or flooding?
Does your dog have tags and a microchip with your current contact information?
If you have to evacuate your home, do you have a destination that will accept pets?
Do you have a travel kennel? How about a muzzle?
If you don't have a car, or can't drive it for some reason, do you know what public transportation will allow a dog?
These are just some of the questions we don't always ask ourselves but can make all the difference in an emergency.
How have you planned ahead for a fire, flood or larger natural disaster? What important questions did we miss?
More Pet Safety Resources:
San Francisco's hub for emergency preparedness - SF72