Take Precautions to Keep Your Pets Safe in Case of an Earthquake

In light of the recent earthquake on the east coast, it seems like a good time to review some safety issues of pets.

People have believed for centuries that animals can sense earthquakes2. Pets often show signs of stress such as restlessness and whining before an earthquake2. Wild animals have been recorded fleeing areas that have been subject to earthquakes. This natural tendency to run can make it very easy to lose your pet before, during, or even after the event. If your pets are lost the likelihood that you will be reunited with them increases dramatically if they are microchipped. In fact 90% of lost pets without microchips are never returned to their familes3.

Fish are dependent on the aquatic environment to sustain life, without it they are quite literally high and dry, and dead. In the event of an earthquake you may be faced with the dilemma of having a cracked fish tank, or worse yet with the tank broken beyond repair. I suggest having a repair kit and a backup aquarium1. If you can’t repair the leak, scoop some of the water out and put it in the emergency tank, then net the fish and transfer them to their temporary home. After transferring your fish ladle the rest of water into the second aquarium. Always use a much of the original water as possible. The stress that your fish endure will be diminished if you keep them in their original water.

Pets that are very dependent on temperature such as fish, amphibians and reptiles will not survive well if the temperatures in their habitats fluctuates significantly. Purchasing a backup generator will allow you to keep power on so that you can maintain stable temperatures for these pets.

Since 1997 the incidence of earthquakes has shown marked increase4, increasing the likelihood that we will live to experience one of these potentially devastating events. I suggest 72 hour kits that include basic essentials for family members that can be moved easily at a moment’s notice. Make sure that you have thought about your pets and include basic items such as food for them also.

The more prepared you are the better off you will be. You cannot prepare for every eventuality, but take to the time to plan for what you can. The more organized you are, the less chance you have of loosing you beloved family members forever.

1. How to Repair Small Leaks in Glass Aquariums in 9 Easy Steps Stan & Debbie Hauter; about.com

2. Can Animals Sense Earthquakes? Maryann Mott for National Geographic News November 11, 2003

3. http://public.homeagain.com/

4. http://www.earth.webecs.co.uk/

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