Week 17 – After an Earthquake – are you prepared to evacuate with your pets?


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Answers to your Earthquake Preparedness Questions
The time to prepare is NOW – once the big one      STRIKES it will be too late.  

Your family is counting on you! 

 By Jackie Kloosterboer – Speaker, Trainer, 
Author – My Earthquake Preparedness Guide 

QUESTION:   After an Earthquake are you prepared to evacuate with your pets?

Post 16 explained how to create your pet’s Grab & Go Kit – like us they will need basic items to survive after an earthquake.  I hope you have put your pet’s Grab & Go Kit together – they are counting on you!
Presenting an Earthquake Preparedness Session at a Lunch and Learn last week a woman asked me what if you couldn’t take your pet with you when you are forced to evacuate.  Should you just leave your pets behind?  A great question and it brought me back to a story I heard from a forest fire a few years back.
A family had been advised to evacuate their home due to a fast approaching forest fire. During a previous evacuation a few years back for another fire, they had been away from their home for only a night so they expected to repeat their short-term evacuation experience again this time. 
Rather than take their old dog with them, they decided it would be better to leave him in his dog run.  They believed he would be more comfortable as he had shelter and plenty of food and water. 
During the night the fire changed direction and roared through their property. Sadly, their dog did not survive.   As you can imagine the family was devastated.  They had truly thought they were doing the best thing for their dog but everything went terribly wrong. 
As pet lovers our hearts go out to this family – they made a bad decision which they will live with for the rest of their lives. How could you ever forgive yourself? 
As heart wrenching as this is you can certainly learn from this so it won’t happen to you.


There were similar stories from Hurricane Katrina and other disasters around the world where people were not allowed to take their pets with them when they were evacuated.  People refused to evacuate without their pets and both the people and pets lost their lives.

Today – people are being encouraged to take their pets with them when being evacuated and with some simple planning it will be much easier when you have your plans in place prior to the earthquake. 
When facing an earthquake you may need to evacuate your home especially if you have damage. Once you are out of your home you don’t know if you will be allowed back in.  There could be aftershocks that cause damage or you could be faced with a house or apartment fire – all of which could prevent you from safely returning to get your pet.
Always take your pets with you when evacuating!
You’re Task for Week #17

Some things to consider prior to facing an evacuation:
  • Have the contact number of local kennels, vets etc. that can provide boarding.
  •  Have the supplies your pet will need in their Grab & Go Kits. See last week’s blog 16 for detailed lists or use the check list in My Earthquake Preparedness Guide
  •  If you have a cat they can often be difficult to put into a cat carrier.  A vet friend suggested putting your cat in a pillow case and this may help calm them down.  As crazy as it sounds I have seen this work.
  •  Train your pet to go into the carrier.
  • Have a list of hotels that will allow pets.
  •  Remember – life safety always comes first. Don’t put your life in danger to rescue a pet.

 Week 18 we will look at seniors and disasters.

Have questions – don’t hesitate to ask. Until next week – Stay safe and make sure you, your family and pets are prepared for earthquake or any disaster that may come your way.

Jackie Kloosterboer – BIO
Jackie Kloosterboer has been leading the way in earthquake preparedness for 2 decades presenting more than 100 Earthquake Preparedness sessions each year to a variety of groups and businesses. She is often interviewed by a variety of media outlets across Canada as she promotes the importance of earthquake and disaster preparedness.
As an Emergency Preparedness Specialist and an Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC Jackie travels across Canada teaching people how to respond to disasters to help those who have been displaced. Throughout British Columbia Jackie has taken on leadership roles assisting those who have been impacted by disaster.

Contact Jackie to speak at your next group or business event to help you, your family, your staff and pets get prepared for earthquakes or whatever disaster comes your way. Jackie will lead you through the necessary steps helping you identify what is important to you and your family or business.  

Contact Jackie with any questions or to book her for your next event at jackie@survive-it.ca or call   (604) 355-2414

Jackie is available for:
Earthquake Preparedness Presentations
Preparedness Plans
In-Home Walk-Throughs
Preparedness Kits
Media Interviews

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