LOS ANGELES, In honor of National Preparedness month, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) would like to remind pet owners to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Including pets (or your service animal) in your emergency preparedness plans is key to increasing the odds of survival during a disaster, crisis, or emergency.
One of the most important components of emergency preparedness is having a plan for you and your family. The same goes for your pets (or service animal). Be sure to have a plan in place for them as well. “Remember, it is always best to plan ahead, before disaster strikes, so that you are not scrambling to figure out what to do after the disaster occurs,” said DACC director, Marcia Mayeda. Make arrangements now with family or friends who would be willing to welcome your pets in the event of an emergency. Make plans with your neighbors to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
Have an emergency kit for your pets (or service animal). The kit should include: a three day supply of food and water (for each animal), any medications, one or two bowls, bags for cleaning up, a copy of vaccination records, and a current photograph. Dogs should wear a collar with license and identification information. Also, be sure to microchip your pets (or service animal). A microchip adds another layer of protection, should your pet become lost. Have extra collars and leashes with ID tags for both cats and dogs. Each pet should have their own crate or carrier. Crates should have good air circulation and should be large enough for your pet to stand, turnaround, and lie down. A harness and leash for your cat can be very helpful in reducing escapes while cleaning the cage. Also include familiar items, such as favorite toys and treats, which can help reduce stress for your pets during a disaster.
If you have livestock, be sure to make arrangements to evacuate or prepare an area where horses can remain safe during an emergency event. With livestock, it is vital for horses to be evacuated early from threatened areas so horse trailers do not interfere with emergency response vehicles. DACC encourages you to train your horse to load into a trailer and have a working truck and trailer available. If your horse will not load easily or safely, work in advance to make your horses’ area as safe as possible to shelter in place. Check with your local Fire Department for clearance regulations.