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Results from Online Preparedness Survey:

Do you have an emergency kit for your family:

47.5% said yes
47.5% said no
4% are not sure
1% asks what does that mean

Do you have an emergency kit for your pet(s)?

35% said yes
60.4% said no
3.3% are not sure
1% asks what does that mean

What type of pet(s) do you currently have? (respondents checked all that applied)

37.4% have cats
85.7% have dogs
5.5% have birds
1.1% have rodents
4.4% have rabbits
3.3% have reptiles
1.1% have horses

How many days supplies should you have in your emergency kit (for your family and pet)?

2.2% answered 2 days
35.5% answered 3 days
18.3% answered 5 days
16.1% answered 7 days
18.3% answered more than 8 days
9.7% said they don’t have anything set aside

What do you have in your emergency kits?

Water - 96.4%
Nonperishable food for humans - 83.9%
Pet Food - 76.8%
Litter box with litter - 32.1%
Can opener - 78.6%
Leash - 44.6%
Battery powered radio or wind-up - 64.3%
Flashlight - 94.6%
Sleeping gear for family and pets - 60.7%
Pet crate - 50%
Cash - 53.6%
Toys (pets/human) - 33.9%
Medical records (pets/human) - 41.1%
Medications (pets/human) - 48.2%

Respondents also added these items: fire starter, multipurpose tool, duct tape, first aid kit, tent, two-way radio, bathroom supplies, important phone numbers, extra ID and collars for pets, basic tools, to name a few.

How much gas to you always make sure you have in your vehicle’s gas tank?

33.8% always fill up when it hits 1/2 a tank
43.7% always fill up when it hits 1/4 a tank
22.5% wait until the low gas light comes on

Wondering why it is important to keep your tank at least a quarter full? What if you had to quickly pack up your vehicle and leave? Would you have enough gas to withstand a long evacuation traffic jam or get you out of the immediate area?

Do you have a lit of pet friendly hotels/motels that are about 50+ miles away where you could evacuate to?

Yes - 15.3%
No - 84.7%

Have you arranged with a neighbor to evacuate your pets should you not be at home when disaster strikes?

Yes - 13.9%
No - 86.1%




Are you ready?

Are you really ready?

Last week while reading before bedtime, I started to smell smoke.  You know, that dreadful house-on-fire smoke smell.  I didn’t hear any sirens, but it was obvious that somewhere nearby someone’s home was burning.  The next morning I read there were two home fires about a mile from me.  That gave me pause to think about what I would grab with just a few moments to get out.  Where were my cats?  Where was that emergency crate?

The Pacific Northwest is primed for the quake of the century . . . tomorrow or in 300 years. This is the big one — the one that could destroy bridges, take down cell towers, and make it nearly impossible to get just about anywhere.

Realistically, the most likely potential disaster is fire, not earthquake.  Fire is the most common home disaster and kills more people every year than all natural disasters combined.  To give you perspective, in the first six months of 2011, the Portland Fire Department responded to 200 structure fires and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to 50 fires.  Last year alone there were 568 structure fires in Multnomah County.  TVF&R responds to an average of 100 fires every year.

And what do you think is the No. 1 cause?  If you guessed cigarettes, you are partially correct; that’s the cause of one in ten.  The distinction is that cigarette-started fires are the leading cause of fire-related death.  The leading cause of residential fires in Oregon and nationally, according to TVF&R, is kitchen fires.

Today, most of us are not even prepared to “survive” a traffic delay (do you have water and food in your car?).  So how would we live in the days after a horrific natural disaster?  According to an online survey I conducted in July, about half of respondents don’t have any sort of family emergency kit and two-thirds don’t have one for pets.

Take time now to put together an emergency kit for your pets and keep it readily accessible.  If the kit isn’t for that 9.0 earthquake, it might be for a gas leak, broken water main, or even a fire filling your home with smoke.

Important tips:
•Know where your cat might hide when stressed
•Find a trusted neighbor who can evacuate your cat in case you’re away (86% of survey respondents did not have someone on call to help)
•Practice removing your cat from his/her hiding spot quickly and firmly
•Practice using your cat’s carrier, a pillowcase, a sturdy box — anything to get your pet quickly out of harm’s way
•Involve your entire family so everyone knows what to take, where to find the pets, and where to meet
•Keep your emergency kit up to date.  Add it to the list for when you do like annual checkups — of smoke detectors, for example.
•Make sure your vehicle always has enough gas to get you out of the area (over a quarter full at all times)

Prepare now so when something does happen, you, your family, and your pets will be safe.

by Kathy Covey

Why you should have an emergency kit

According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration):

There are real benefits to being prepared.

Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.

People also can reduce the impact of disasters (flood proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake) and sometimes avoid the danger completely.

The need to prepare is real.

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.

If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere.

You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area - hurricanes, earthquakes, extreme cold, flooding, or terrorism.

You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

Read more at:

Resources to help you be better prepared

Make a plan for you and your family:

Make a kit for your family:

Make a plan and a kit for your pet:

Know the natural hazards in your area:

Preparedness tips for tornadoes:

Evacuating with your pet:


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