QUESTION:  We have all been told to be prepared for emergencies.  I am a pet owner and wondering if there is anything special that should be included in planning for their needs and safety?

  ANSWER:  Planning for your pets needs and safety during an emergency is very important and much like planning for yourself.  However, there are a few extra items that should be included in your planning process.

  Being ready for an emergency has three basic steps:  Preparation, Planning and Staying Informed.

  Part of the process includes making sure you have the basics for survival on hand.  Emergency supply kits are an excellent way of making sure you have the supplies needed and you know where they are stored.

  Supply kits for your pets are a must and in addition to food and water should contain medicines, medical records, first aid kit, an extra collar with tag, harness or leash.  Also place copies of pet’s registration papers, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic envelope and add it to your kit.

  Since in your planning process you won’t know if you will stay-in-place or evacuate consider making up two kits one to be used at home and a lighter one to be taken with you if you are ordered to leave your home.

  If you are ordered to evacuate you will need to have a crate or other type of pet carrier.  The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

  This might also be a good time to talk with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as micro chipping or enrolling in a pet recovery data base.

  Having a plan is your next step.  The first important decision is whether you stay-in-place or evacuate – you should have a plan for each situation.

  Check out the emergency shelters that you are likely to go to.  Ask if pets are allowed if yes then ask if there are any specific rules or regulations regarding your pet’s stay.  If pets are not accepted then checkout the venues in your area that house pets for emergencies.  Make a list of those that meet your needs.

  If you are not at home but your pets are when an emergency happens you should have some type of agreement with a neighbor, friend or family member about checking on your pets to make sure they are all right or if they are evacuated where they were taken.

  Also designate a specific location in your neighborhood and further away where you will meet in an emergency.

  Last but not least stay informed and know about types of emergencies that may be affecting your neighborhood.  Being prepared is the best we can do – because emergencies just happen.

  Preparing for your safety and that of your pets makes sense.   So be ready should one occur.  It is never too early to start being prepared.

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  MONDAY – April 1 – Nominations for 2019 Senior of the Year Award close – if you have a candidate for Thousand Oaks Council on Aging Senior of the Year Award now is the time to make that nomination.  Mark your calendar for the Banquet scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2019.

   WEDNESDAY – April 3 – 1:00 pm Thousand Oaks Council on Aging Meeting – Presentation – “Strokes, Blood Clots and Nuero-Intervention” at the Civic Arts Plaza Board Room, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

  THURSDAY – April 11 – 10:00 to 11:30 am – Seminar – “Now I am Wise Part 3: A New Conversation of Purpose” – at Agoura Hills Recreation & Event Center, 29900 Ladyface Court in Agoura Hills.  To make reservations call (818) 597-7361.

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Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns.  The advocates are located at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA91362 or call (805) 495-6250 or email bberry@senior (please include your telephone number).  You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

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