Los Gatos Prepared
The Town of Los Gatos, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, and Los Gatos-Monte Sereno CERT join together as part of Los Gatos Prepared month to raise awareness and encourage the local community to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes and businesses.
During the month of October the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno CERT teams will host emergency preparedness displays at various locations throughout Town.
Los Gatos-Monte Sereno CERT members are invited to participate in staffing these positions. If you are a CERT member and would like to participate, please contact Jackie Rose. For more information on becoming a Los Gatos-Monte Sereno CERT member please visit: www.LosGatosCa.gov/volunteerservices
Pet Prepared – Caring for your Pets in the Event of a Disaster
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.
The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency depends largely on emergency planning done today. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
Guidelines for Pets
Plan for pet needs during a disaster by:
- Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. Include your local animal shelter's number in your list of emergency numbers. They might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
- Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they're not available later. Before you find yourself in an emergency situation, consider packing a "pet survival" kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.
- Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.
- Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
- Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.
Prepare Shelter for Your Pet
Take the following steps to prepare to shelter your pet:
- Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
- If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
- Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your "pet survival" kit along with a photo of your pet.
- Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster but this should be considered only as a last resort.
- If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets is in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.
Protect Your Pet during a Disaster
Take the following steps to protect your pet during a disaster:
- Bring your pets inside immediately.
- Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animal’s moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
- Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
- Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
- In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.
Caring for Your Pet after a Disaster
Below are a few steps you may want to take to care for your pet after a disaster:
- If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
- In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.
- The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.
Guidelines for Large Animals
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
- Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
- Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.
- Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
- If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.
- Find pet-friendly hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada: http://www.gopetfriendly.com/
The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department has provided guidance to our schools in the planning and implementation of their emergency preparedness plans, as part of our Los Gatos Prepared program, the Department has provided our public and private schools with an Emergency or Disaster Information page, a Family Emergency Communication Plan, and information on How to be Prepared for Natural Disasters.
The information below has been distributed to our local schools both public and private and is available to our community.
Be Prepared for Natural Disaster
Family Emergency Communication Plan
Emergency Preparedness Information for Older Americans and Special Needs
Older Americans and Special Needs Emergency Preparedness Plan
Please visit the "Are you Prepared?" section below for more information about putting together a 72 hour emergency kit and emergency preparedness tips.
Are You Prepared?
- Top 10 Earthquake Preparedness Tips
- 72-Hour Emergency Kit Checklist
- Top 10 Emergency Preparedness Tips
- Family Communication Plan
- Top 10 Tips for Pandemic Flu
- Top 10 Tips Local Business Tips
- Events & Partner Links
Disaster Distress - Mental Health Information
When disaster strikes, often people react with increased anxiety, worry, and anger. With support from community and family, most of us bounce back. However, some may need extra assistance to cope with unfolding events and uncertainties.
Please visit www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov for addtional information and resources related to disaster behavioral health.
Download the SAMHSA Flyer
Other Related Links
211 Santa Clara County
Earthquakes, Wildfire, Flooding, Utility Service Interruptions.... Are YOU at risk?
The Santa Clara County Local Planning Team with representatives from the Town of Los Gatos identified 25 possible hazard threats within the county boundary. Santa Clara County’s Office of Emergency Services is collaborating with the incorporated cities to update the countywide local hazard mitigation plan. This plan outlines mechanisms for increasing our community’s resiliency to natural hazard events.
Hazard “mitigation” is defined as "sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural, human-caused, and technological hazards and their effects."
The local hazard mitigation plan will be an annex to the regional plan titled "Taming Natural Disasters: Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area". The current plan may be viewed at: Plan Chapters Information
If you have any questions regarding the hazard mitigation plan update, you may contact Corinne Bartshire at (510) 834-3326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.