Living With Animals: Preparing For The Worst

All experts say that Bay Area residents should have a stash of supplies adequate to live completely self-sufficiently (no stores, no power, no nothing) for three days in the case of a major earthquake. Useful, of course, also in case of fire or other disaster, this advice must include taking care of our animals in such an event. Let’s think through what that would mean.

First, supplies are not going to be helpful if they’ve spoiled during storage or are inaccessible because of property damage. You’re in the position to judge what works best for you, of course, but typical solutions include large, shallow covered plastic boxes which slide under a bed and metal garbage cans stored outside sealed with weather-proof tape. Contents? Food is the obvious, but to make sure it remains fresh, think of rotating with what you keep on hand (i.e., the bag you bring home from the store goes into the storage kit, the older bag from the kit goes into the kitchen). Cans need a can opener, and all food needs a bowl. One gallon of water per day per person is the recommendation for us, and while your pet likely will not need as much any extras may prove useful in terms of rinsing an animal exposed to chemicals, flood waters, etc.

A spare of everything you use every day should be included: litter, litterbox, collar, leash (and carriers for cats and small animals), garbage bags (a full box of them is a good idea). Add medications (stored within a moisture-proof container inside the larger kit), medical records and even a first aid for pets book plus the bandages, etc., it will recommend, plus the contact info for your veterinarian, grooming supplies, paper towels and something soft like an old towel for the interim bed. Let’s all hope this falls into the better safe than sorry category, but planning for our family in the time of a crisis is always time well spent.

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