Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Waiting for the "Big One."Today, I was a guest of Marin Humane. They held a workshop, inviting the Bay Area animal shelters who took in animals from Hurricane Katrina, to discuss "lessons learned." The hope is our experiences with Katrina animals will help prepare us for our challenges when the Big One hits our region.
Now, this area has had its disasters: the Oakland fires in the early '90s, the earthquake that disrupted the World Series in 1989, and wildfires, seemingly every year. The East Bay SPCA was instrumental in the Oakland fires by hosting a triage staging area of recovered pets, so we have cooperated successfully with animal control to save lives in unusual circumstances. But this event was to prepare specifically for worse case scenarios.
One of the biggest lessons learned: the best indicator of how well a pet will survive in a disaster is if the pet evacuates with the owner. That was a challenge in Louisiana as many of the rescue organizations such as the Red Cross were not prepared to rescue people AND pets.
So, take them with you, okay?
(And make plans with your neighbors to recover each other's pets if you can't be home when the Big One hits.)