Indian Summer is a period of unusually dry, warm weather occurring in late autumn. For those of us who are native to the greater San Diego area, it is a weather phenomenon we’ve come to expect, if not embrace. Along with Indian Summer come some wonderful things like bright pink sunsets and balmy evenings and some not-so-wonderful things, like wildfires.

As a long-term resident in Southern California, Pets In Paradise owner Eloise Christopher is no stranger to disaster preparedness. “In 2007 we had the experience of a real-life evacuation with 19 dogs,” said Christopher “and having that experience gives you a healthy respect for mother nature.” With that in mind, a yearly fire prevention in-service with Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department has become somewhat standard procedure. “Having a protocol in place helps me and my clients sleep better at night.”

Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department

Rancho Santa Fe Fire District’s Mission Statement: To serve the public through the protection of life, environment and property from fire and other emergencies through prevention, preparedness, education, and response.

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.

If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
    • 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
  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • 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.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.