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January/February 2020

Emergency Planning for 2020

Remember Your Pets!


Be "Pup"-pared!

We don’t know what the future holds, but taking steps now ensures that we are more ready, resilient, and able to recover if an emergency or disaster should occur.


You can prepare you and your family, including your pets, by creating a family emergency plan. Here are some tips to get started.


Make an emergency plan:

Make an Evacuation Plan

Have an Emergency Supply Kit for Everyone in Your Household  

Practice the Plan!

  • Practicing prepares you and your family to act and communicate quickly, access supplies, and evacuate if necessary in a real emergency
  • Set up a regular time to practice at least twice a year
  • Talk about what went well and what needs to be improved
  • Make necessary updates


Tips and Resources for Pets

Watch this video for great pet preparedness information. Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.


Build an Emergency Kit for Your Pet

Include basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable. Start with this list, and download Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners-Emergency Preparedness Pet Kit List for more information.


At least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.


At least three days of water specifically for your pets.

Medications and Important Documents 

  • Registration information 
  • Adoption papers 
  • Pet medical records including vaccination documents

Note: Most boarding kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters will need to make sure all vaccinations are current.

Talk to your vet about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.


First Aid Kit

  • cotton bandage rolls
  • bandage tape and scissors
  • antibiotic ointment
  • flea and tick prevention
  • latex gloves
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • saline solution
  • Include a pet first aid reference book or guide

Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag, and a leash

Crate or pet carrier

  • Sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate
  • Should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down


  • Pet litter and litter box if appropriate
  • Newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach

A picture of you and your pet together

If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you.  Include species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.

Familiar items
Treats, toys, and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

Update your kit regularly
Ensure food and medicines are fresh.


Be prepared to take your pet(s) with you if you must evacuate.

  • If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured, or worse
  • You may not be able to return as soon as you think
  • Never leave a pet chained outdoors

Create a buddy system in case you’re not home.

Arrange with neighbors, friends, or relatives to check on your animals, and be available to go into your house and get your pets if necessary.

Use "Pet Inside" stickers on your windows to alert first responders that there are pets inside your home.

Identify shelter options for your pet.

  • Many emergency shelters cannot accept pets for public health reasons
  • Contact your local animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information
  • Find pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit
  • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter
  • Consider an out-of-town friend or relative

Up-to-date identification should be worn by your pet at all times!

  • Collar with a tag with your name, address, and cell phone number
  • Consider having a tag with contact information for a friend or relative

Have your pet microchipped.

This is an effective way to identify pets that get separated from their owners.

Microchips are small devices that are implanted painlessly under your pet’s skin and contains your contact information.

If your pet’s collar is lost a microchip can be easily scanned at a shelter or other facility, so that you can be contacted.

Keep your address and phone number up-to-date, and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.


Take the time now to be sure that all members of your family are prepared!


For more information: article on how to keep your pets safe in an emergency!




Be Prepared for Winter Weather


  • In Santa Cruz County we should especially be aware of flood safety
  • Stay off the road during and after a winter storm
  • If you travel, check conditions and have appropriate equipment and clothing


How Will You Get Emergency Alerts and Warnings?


CodeRed: SCR 9-1-1 encourages all of Santa Cruz and San Benito county residents to register their cell phones and VOIP phones with CodeRED. CodeRED is the alerting system used for public safety events in both counties. If you need to be told to evacuate, shelter in place, or prepare for an event, CodeRED is how the message is delivered.


Step 1: Go to to register. Once completed add 866-419-5000 to your contacts so you know when SCR9-1-1 is calling you.


Step 2: Download the CodeRED app to your smart phone. If an event occurs in proximity to your smart phone, you will be notified through the app. Be sure to "always allow" your location to be known for this app.

And now available as an app for your phone!
The CodeRED Mobile Alert app provides advanced, real-time, location-specific alerts to keep residents and visitors informed and safe as they travel across the United States and Canada. Messages can include text and audio and feature a map with the location of the warning area.

Click here to download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app for either iOS or Android.

Nixle is a free notification service that keeps you up-to-date about emergency weather events, road closings, public safety advisories, disasters, and other relevant information from public safety departments and schools. Click here to sign up for alerts from local agencies.                                                                  If you live or work in different counties, or if you have relatives or friends in other areas from which you want to receive information, you can sign up for alerts in other areas.


READY, SET, GO Campaign

CAL FIRE has developed a communications program called “Ready, Set, Go!” that breaks down the actions needed to be ready for wildfire or any emergency.


Download the app and you can create a plan right from your phone or computer

Click the images below for resources and information.

Resources in other languages

Click Here to Access the Feature of the Month Archive