An earthquake is the sudden movement of the Earth’s surface as a result of volcanic eruptions or shifting rock masses along geological fault lines. Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes strike without warning. One minute you’re relaxing in front of the television with your dog, the next minute your home is violently shaking. The unpredictable impact of earthquakes makes preparing for them extremely important. Whether before, during or after, there are several precautions you can take to ensure you and your pets are safe from harm if a quake occurs.
Preparing for an Earthquake
While California and Alaska are the states most affected by earthquakes, 43 other states across the U.S. as well as other regions around the world are at moderate to high risk of experiencing these events. If you don’t know whether you reside in an earthquake zone, check with the American Geosciences Institute for maps detailing all the major and minor fault lines throughout the country.
If you live in a high-risk area, protecting the interior of your home is essential. Do not hang heavy picture frames, mirrors and sconces on the walls, especially near where you or your pet sleep. Anchor overhead lighting fixtures to ceiling joists and large freestanding furniture such as bookcases, cabinets and armoires to wall studs. It’s also beneficial to create a household evacuation plan for you and Fido and rehearse it at least twice a year.
What To Do During an Earthquake
If an earthquake strikes, Drop, Cover and Hold On. The majority of earthquake-related injuries are caused by collapsing walls, falling objects and shattered glass. Contrary to popular belief, doorways are not the best places in your home to take cover. The strongest protection is away from windows beneath a sturdy table or desk that can absorb falling debris. Do not move from your safe area once you’re in it. Brace pets close to your side or in a carrier and stay under cover until the shaking stops. Also, make sure your emergency first aid pet kit is on hand if needed.
Dealing With the Aftermath
Even though quakes usually only last a few seconds, the damage they inflict can be extensive. Be on the lookout for dangling debris and teetering glassware on shelves. If you smell gas, leave your home immediately; broken gas lines can cause fires and explosions. Even if your home doesn’t sustain serious damage, leaving your pet after a quake isn’t advisable. Aftershocks are extremely common and sometimes worse than the initial earthquake. Pets may be injured or become severely agitated if left alone. Blaring fire and smoke alarms triggered by the intense tremors can also cause them to panic. Our furry friends’ senses are more finely tuned than ours, so they may become aggressive or disoriented. Monitor their behavior closely and contact your vet if problems persist.
Don’t Forget F.I.D.O.
BringFido, the world’s leading pet travel and lifestyle brand, has developed a four-step checklist to help keep your furry friends safe and by your side during a disaster or major emergency. Before it’s too late, remember to F.I.D.O.!
BringFido stands ready to assist you during any emergency evacuation. Our Canine Concierges have secured thousands of hotels, vacation rentals and shelters for evacuees, while offering essential advice on how best to navigate these highly stressful times. Visit our website or mobile app, where you can browse and book more than 250,000 hotels and vacation rentals around the country. Or, call us and let us do the legwork for you. Our Canine Concierge team contacts the hotel to confirm the assignment of a pet-friendly room and can even help with any exceptions or special requests that you may have.
Remember that when you book with BringFido, you enjoy the benefit of our Pet Friendly Guarantee, and you’ll never pay a booking fee. Call us at 877-411-3436 to speak to one of our friendly agents, or save some time and book online. Either way, our service is free.
The animal members of our family turn to us for safety and protection during natural disasters. Taking the time to prepare could be the difference between tragedy and a silver lining. Follow the four steps of F.I.D.O. and check in with #fidosafe to let us know you’re safe.