Anyone who has a pet knows the healing powers of their nuzzling when you’ve had a bad day.
Now it’s time to return the favour.
When an earthquake hits, your pet(s) will be more afraid than anyone else in your home. You need to be prepared to take care of them in an emergency.
First of all, keep them in mind when putting together an earthquake-preparedness kit. Items should include:
A supply of food and water for at least 72 hours (thankfully the toilet is there to help dogs).
A dish for their water and food.
A collar and leash.
A favourite toy.
A warm blanket, especially if your pet is not used to the outdoors.
ID tags, medicine and medical records.
Once this survival kit is prepared, there are a few things that are essential to remember.
After an earthquake, your pet, especially a cat or a dog, won’t be the same. They will be incredibly scared and shaky. Any noise will make them jump out of their fur. You need to be careful when they are in this state so or your children are not scratched or bitten. Speak to them in a calm and reassuring voice.
Be wary of possible aftershocks that might cause your pets to react in a violent fashion.
Do your best to calm them, but make sure they don’t feel cornered. If possible, get them outside in the backyard so they have some room to move.
If you must leave them at home, ensure a 72-hour supply of food and water is left behind in case you are prevented from getting back to your house.
For homeowners who have property and keep horses, make sure your emergency kit contains everything these four-legged creatures will need.
Give horses room to roam. Do not try and chain or rope them because they will be skittish and can hurt you or themselves.
Get animals out of barns or buildings that may have been damaged in an earthquake. Barns are especially susceptible to earthquake damage. Large beams and rafters may not be well secured, thus making the barn subject to collapse during aftershocks.
Hay bales and large equipment may be tossed around and come tumbling down on animals and people inside barns.
Immediately open the doors and let the animals out. It’s easier to recover a live animal than replace a dead one.