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Posted on: August 26, 2021

Wildfire Ready: Tips for Preparing to Evacuate Pets and Animals

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Pets are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan. Owners of pets and animals should plan and prepare to evacuate their pets in the event of a wildfire. Preparing animals for an evacuation requires an extra level of planning, preparedness, and practice.

Begin by creating or using an evacuation checklist specific to your pet’s needs. Plan where you would evacuate your animals and make sure you are signed up to receive alerts and warnings from the City of Santa Rosa. These alerts may be critical in giving you the time needed to put your plans in motion for a safe evacuation. In the event that you are not home, make prior arrangements for a neighbor or family member to transport your animals. This includes giving the designated person your checklist and directions. Remember to keep your own files updated with all of your animal’s vaccination and medical records, proof of ownership, and current photos. 

For those living in or around our wildland urban interface fire area, think of the area where you keep your outdoor animals as an extension of your homes defensible space. Maintain clearance around areas with barns, pastures, and similar enclosure on your property to reduce the risk of fire danger in the event they can’t be safely evacuated. 

Make sure your pets are always wearing properly fitted collars with personal identification and rabies registration tags. Each animal should have its own pet carrier. Birds, rodents, and reptiles should be transported in cages. Cover cages with a light sheet or cloth to minimize their fear. 

Learn more about being wildfire ready and having a plan for your pets and animals by reviewing the following documents that can be found under our Property Owners Resource Library at srcity.org/WildfireReady.

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