In case of EMERGENCY: 6 Tips

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Springs fire

We had a wildfire scare near our home the other day. The fire started roughly 4-5 miles away, but with wind gusts over 50 mph and tinder-like dry conditions here in CA, it was scary. They evacuated thousands of families to ‘evacuation’ centers, but they don’t usually allow dogs, so I always worry about what we would do if we were evacuated. Luckily, I have family that lives close by and can always go there. But this event reminded us to review our emergency plans – something that should be done on a regular basis.

We set up an ’emergency’ plan when we moved to CA – mainly because of the obvious threat of earthquakes (although there have been very few of those). But I’m not sure that everyone thinks about this – what do you do with your pets and how do you ensure their care if there is an emergency. I thought I would share some of the things we have planned for – for ourselves and for SlimDoggy Jack & Maggie and hopefully inspire others to create a contingency or emergency plan for their families.

  1. We have multiple Fire Alert stickers placed in various windows and doors so if there is an emergency and we are not at home, the Firedog emergency3 Department is informed as to exactly how many – and what type of pets we have in the home. We have a dog door that I’m sure Jack would use to get out of the house if necessary, but Maggie is afraid of it and never uses it. I want to be sure rescuers know she’s in there and can rescue her.
  2. Have a rendezvous point planned with your family. You never know where you might be when a catastrophe strikes and you may not be able to return to your home. We’ve agreed to several rendezvous spots in descending priority order based on the nature of the emergency, some close to home – some farther away.Remember your cell phone might not work either, so you may not be able to reach a  family member – that’s why the rendezvous points are important.
  3. I know many people don’t collar their dogs when they are in the house, but if you are out, they should always be collared. This not only will help identify them correctly if they have to be removed from your home, but will also assist the fire department in collecting them. Your dog may not like to be led by their collar – but it’s probably better than being picked up by a stranger when they are already frightened.
  4. Keep your important papers in one spot so you can grab them quickly. Including your photos. Most everything is digital nowadays, but it’s those old photos that are still on paper that you have to remember to save since you can’t recreate them.
  5. If your dog is on medication, make sure that it is handy to grab on your way out. It may be awhile before you could get it replaced and like it or not, in an emergency, care and medical attention is going to go to humans first. You have to watch out for your pets.
  6. The obvious emergency staples: canned food, water, flashlights, first aid kit. Think about your dogs needs when preparing these staples.

dog emergency4
No place is immune from a natural disaster – hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, blizzards, wildfires, earthquakes, etc. “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” ― Stephen King

I’m sure our readers have many other tips – let’s get the conversation going and add your thoughts or suggestions below.


Joining the Monday Mischief Blog Hop hosted by Snoopy’s Dog Blog,  Alfie’s BlogLuna Dogs Life and My Brown Newfies.


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  1. Excellent tips! We are supposed to get a big earthquake one of these days and being prepared is important.
    Sage recently posted…What’s HappeningMy Profile

  2. I really need to get a kit together and leave it in the back of the minivan. We still have a minivan mostly because all of us PLUS our dogs fit nicely. I have no idea what would become of the chickens and ducks in an emergency.
    Flea recently posted…Funny Bone Monday, 22My Profile

  3. Great tips! So glad you all are okay!
    Coralee and Finn recently posted…Monday Mischief: Apple PickingMy Profile

  4. Great tips, Slimdoggy. This is a good reminder to me to make sure all of the dog supplies in our emergency kit are still fresh.
    Bethany recently posted…Leo’s (Little) Excellent AdventureMy Profile

  5. Our biggest issue is tornadoes. We keep the necessities in the basement so that we just have to grab dogs and go down. We also keep a few things in the van in case we have to leave, and also because of my husband’s work with SAR. If we couldn’t stay with family, we could keep the dogs in the van if we had to, so that’s a relief of sorts,
    houndstooth recently posted…An Unexpected AdventureMy Profile

    • I don’t think I could take being separated from them in an emergency. Good to have alternatives.

  6. We are in So Cal fire country too. Although, 2 years ago we moved closer to the coast so are not quite as much in harms way anymore (well, for fires – but of course earthquakes are still a problem!). We did come close to evacuating a few years back. Not fun. At the time we of course made all sorts of plans. Good reminder that we need to go over them again! I’m sure the hubs has forgotten all the plans we made!

    I’m glad you were all okay.
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Monday Mischief: Poop Happens – a Guest PostMy Profile

    • They are easy to forget…you don’t want to be thinking about a disaster, so they slip out of mind pretty quick.

  7. Such good tips. It is never too early to do some disaster preparedness. We hope you don’t have to use them!

  8. Glad you were ok with the fires so near. Great post about your emergency plans. Have a great day.
    JoAnn Stancer recently posted…Monday Mischief ~Glory Show WeekendMy Profile

  9. So glad that you were safe from the wildfire and thanks for sharing such wonderful tips!
    Jen recently posted…When All Else Fails, Excavate.My Profile

  10. Great tips! We should get a plan together too as we live in CA also….

    Glad you were all ok after the fire,

    Wags to all

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂
    snoopy recently posted…Monday Mischief – Work or Mischief?My Profile

  11. Great post! I fail in the E-preparedness department, even though I often worry about stuff like that. Hmmmm… guess I should get my act together!

    Stay safe! Hope they are able to keep the wildfires under control.

    –Champ’s mom
    Champ’s mom recently posted…Screen DoorsMy Profile

  12. Woof! Woof! Great reminder and tips. When we lived in HI we had several emergency evacuation reminders posted by our doors. It’s a bit scary but got to be prepared. Glad to hear that you guys are alright. Mom is working on me having collared in the house when she’s out (I’m not happy about it as I’m not used to it). Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Tasty Tuesday: Frosty Yogurt Berries Bone ParfaitMy Profile

    • Gotta keep safe Sugar!

  13. Fire can be scary. Glad you guys didn’t have to evacuate. Wildfires are exciting for me because I use to fight them but there has never been one threatening my house.

    I should because I know better but I don’t have an emergency plan. I think it is because there is such a low threat here in the Northwest…but the few threats that exist are huge (mainly earthquake and lahar from Mt. Rainier erupting)
    Jessica recently posted…Homemade Kong Stuffing: So Bad Even My Dog Won’t Eat ItMy Profile

  14. Maya & Pierson always wear their tags, plus they are chipped. We have emergency supplies on hand and we have the stickers on our windows. But I didn’t even think about keeping certain documents at hand. Good idea. I don’t know if our shelter allows pets, but I figure we could find a hotel to stay in. Probably not the best plan, but something.
    Dawn recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Pierson’s Dog Agility Starter KitMy Profile

    • Any plan is better than no plan! At least now you have some food for thought.

  15. Thanks for the tips, I didn’t even think of fire alert stickers! Glad you’re all okay. 🙂
    2 Punk Dogs recently posted…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  16. I have a bag specifically for the dogs things. In it are a couple of bowls and the books with their medical records.

    We try and keep all medications in one or two general areas and all of that can be quickly dumped into the bag.

    I do need to find a good alternative food for them, since we feed raw but other than that I think we are good to go. I work not far from home and know all the routes in, so I will walk if I have to. 🙂

    And yes, my dogs always have a collar on even at night, what if there was a fire? I’d want to have some way of securing them.

    And Decals we have a decal on the front door and one on our bedroom window.

    Great post.
    Jodi recently posted…Meet EMMAMy Profile

    • It sounds like you are really well prepared. Nice job!

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