Protect your dog during natural disasters

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters with Dogs

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We had a pretty large earthquake here in Alaska in the middle of the night. Luckily, it was pretty far south of us, and Roxy and Dan managed to sleep through it (OF COURSE!) while Rico grumbled a bit.

Meanwhile, I grabbed my phone so I could check local Facebook pages to make sure I wasn’t imagining it! Luckily, we weren’t too affected other than some glasses in the kitchen clinking around.

Parts of southern Alaska were under a tsunami warning through the next morning and had to evacuate to the mountains until the threat passed.

It got me thinking of how prepared we should be for natural disasters and other emergencies where we need to leave the house QUICK. Check these tips to keep your family safe.

Have a Puppy-Go Bag

The main thing is to have a way to keep your pups safe in uncertain circumstances. I mentioned the importance of keeping an up-to-date collar on your dog at all times in “Lost Dog? 4 Things You Need to Do”, and I want to emphasize that again.

Boomerang Tags are AWESOME and quiet, which we all love. I keep their favorite leashes in a cabinet in a closet by the front door, but I also keep a spare set inside my car.

To make things easier to grab in a hurry, I have a bag on top of the cabinet with treats, poop bags, a ziploc bag of food, and some Beneful Prepared Meals that Roxy & Rico really like. Spoiling them with a favorite treat helps ease their anxiety; just don’t give too much so they don’t get an upset tummy!

Print Vaccine Records

If you’re having to evacuate fast, you definitely don’t want to be rifling through papers looking for their vaccine records, or get turned away from hotels or shelters because you don’t have proof.

Keeping a paper copy in their go-bag means one less stress. I also take a photo with my phone and email it to myself with an easily searchable title like “Pet Vaccination Records” so it’s easily accessible. That way, I just grab the bag and have everything I need in one spot!

Have an Emergency Plan

Creating an emergency plan can depend on the situation, but it’s good to have a general idea of what to do and where to go.

I recommend reviewing potential routes and scenarios to come up with a plan in case communication methods are down.

For example, we decided that if an evacuation is necessary while Dan is at work, I’d head north with the pups and we set a meeting spot.

Most emergency situations don’t leave much time to gather items, so try to have as much ready to go as possible at all times. 

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17 Comments

  1. Earthquakes can be scary in that they are so unpredictable. I’ve experienced a few in CA and then some smaller ones here on the east coast as well. Great tips to keep your pets safe and ready just in case of emergency.

  2. We haven’t had an earthquake in San Diego for years. Great point on the puppy go bag and vaccines. I don’t have either so time to prepare.

    1. I grew up in Florida, so I’m used to hurricanes that leave time to prepare, but earthquakes are so much different!

  3. We live in San Francisco and I have everything ready to go if necessary next to my door. I blame it on me being Jewish LOL
    Great reminder and tips

  4. I’m glad to see these article pop up every now and then. A disaster can strike anytime, anywhere and it is too easy not to think about it until it happens.

  5. Definitely something to think about ahead of time and to be prepared for! That go bag is very cute, too. We have our pet go bags but should probably look through to update them.

    1. I adore that go-bag! It’s in my shopping cart to replace my current one for sure since it’s adorable!

  6. Such important tips. Sadly, there have been so many disasters lately. I hope more people will come up with a plan. I’m glad you weren’t affected by the earthquake.

  7. Yes, being pet prepared is so important! I’m glad you shared your story along with the informative tips on how to keep our pets safe in case of emergency. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I’ve read a lot about being prepared in case of a natural disaster, but I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t put anything together yet. I need to work on it because we do have various natural disasters in SC.

  9. Particularly during hurricane season, I make sure we have go bags for all of us. It’s always good to be prepared. Great advice.
    —Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

  10. This is a great reminder to be prepared! Although my area is pretty low risk for natural disasters, it is always possible. Plus a man-made disaster can happen anywhere. I need to make sure our supplies are in order.

  11. Know your evacuation routes. Most people don’t know where is safe to go in an earthquake, hurricane or tsunami like situation. Plan on the possibility of not coming back. where can you stay with your pets long term.

  12. As someone who lives in South Florida, I know firsthand how important pet disaster-preparedness is. Thanks for spreading this very important message! Puppy go bags– YES!

  13. This is a terrific post with some great reminders! You are right, we never know when something like an earthquake or a fire or some other natural disaster is going to strike. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for when something does occur and not have to hope that it doesn’t.

  14. Awesome post and great tips! Everyone needs a bug out bag prepared! I’m really loving those tags! Ryder is usually naked in the home, but I think I should get some of those tags for his things. I’m thinking of putting one on his leash, too. Thanks for sharing, you rock!

  15. These are fantastic tips. I appreciate the importance of keeping their emergency kit safe!

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