Are you ready if a disaster strikes our community? Do you have a grab and go bag ready for your family and your pets? ESS (Emergency Social Services) suggests that you could be on your own for 72 hours in a major disaster so it is important to be self sufficient. Recent earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand highlight the amount of damage we could be facing if a large earthquake happened here. The building code for the new buildings in Chile are very similar to ours so the lessons learned from that earthquake were very valuable. The reality is that it could be a week or longer before real help is available so it is better to be prepared for that long.
For your pets, make sure you have several recent pictures of them along with vet information such as vaccines, special medicines required, name and phone number of vet clinic. If your pet is tattooed or micro-chipped, have those numbers recorded and noted on the back of the pictures. If you and your pets get separated, the pictures can be used to notify and identify your pet.
Ensure that crates are accessible, you’ll need them to keep your animals safe. Having your animals comfortable with being in a crate will go along way to reducing stress if they need to be confined.
If you own small pocket pets, make sure you have a travel carrier available with food and supplies if your cages are too large to take with you.
If you own snakes or reptiles, make sure you have transportable travel tanks for them with appropriate supplies for their care. It is likely that emergency centers will only have basic supplies and not the specialized items your pets require.
If there is a major disaster, emergency shelters will be set up and they may have a pet care area near by. You will be responsible for your own pets care while ESS is in charge of the shelter. In longer term situations, groups like Noah’s Wish or CDART may come in to run the pet care center. Your animals will be confined to crates and exercised at set times of the day so having them comfortable while being crated really helps your pet.
This is the Provincial Emergency Program website with very useful information for you and your family:
This is the CDART Be Prepared! Website. It has useful lists of all the supplies you need for your pets incase a disaster strikes:
Websites for local Emergency Programs:
http://www.saanich.ca/sep/index.html -Saanich (ESS Saanich)
http://www.pemo.ca/index.html – Peninsula (PEMO)
http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/departments_vep.shtml Victoria (VEMA)
http://www.esquimalt.ca/publicSafety/emergencyPrograms/emergencySocialServices.aspx – Esquimalt (ESS Esquimalt)
Victoria Area Earthquake Maps: