Michelle Lebb's dog Aki looks like he's ready for any emergency in this outfit. This photo was submitted for the 2004 Pets in Paradise calendar and will grace the January calendar.

Pet owners must
prepare for disasters

Emergency checklist

Our islands are vulnerable to natural disasters such as flash floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. This is the time of year when families, especially those with companion animals, need to be prepared for emergencies.

Pets are not permitted in public emergency shelters, so owners should prepare in advance for the care of animals. It is important to have a plan so your pets will be safe during an emergency.

The weather reports are already reporting tropical depressions, so now is the time to make an emergency plan and prepare your whole family.

Plan for the worst

Determine the safest place in your home for your family and pets during a disaster. It should be clear of windows and free of breakable objects.

If you live in a low-lying or coastal area that is likely to be evacuated, make advance arrangements with a friend or relative who lives on higher ground and is able to accommodate you and your pets in their home.

Check with your local veterinary clinic or phone book to locate boarding kennels. Visit the facilities beforehand to learn their requirements and determine if they meet your standards of cleanliness and care. Make sure the kennel it is out of the immediate hazard area, and ask if they have an emergency evacuation plan.

Keep a pet carrier on hand for each pet. The carrier or crate should be large enough so your pet can stand up and turn around when inside it. Teach your animal to think of the carrier as a safe haven.

Be sure your companion animal wears an ID at all times. If your pet doesn't have a microchip yet, call your veterinary clinic and make an appointment. (See the list for $5 microchips during September.)

A properly fitted collar and leash are essential for dogs and handy for cats, too. If you have to leave your home quickly, be ready with pet IDs, leashes and carriers.

Keep a current photo of your pet to help ensure identification if you are separated during the emergency.

Keep your pet's vaccinations up to date, and have the records handy. Many boarding facilities require proof of current vaccinations.

Stock up on pet food and kitty litter as well as newspapers, plastic bags and cleansers to handle pet wastes, and keep an adequate supply of your pet's medications (at least enough for three days).

During an emergency

>> Bring your pet indoors well ahead of a natural disaster. An approaching storm may frighten your pet, causing it to run away and get lost. Do NOT leave your animal outside loose or tied up.

>> Have sturdy water containers that will not spill, and plenty of dry food that will not spoil. Small animals should have food and water dispensers that hold enough supplies for a few days.

>> Prepare a safe indoor area for you and your pets. If your pet becomes frightened, consider putting it in its crate or carrier to reduce the chances of it getting loose or injuring itself.

>> When evacuating, take your pet with you. If your house is considered unsafe for you, it is unsafe for your animal as well. If you could not arrange sheltering your companion animal elsewhere, your pet can stay in your car parked at an emergency shelter as a last resort.

Keep the pet in its carrier, and provide food and water. Leave a car window slightly open to provide ventilation, and park in a protected area.

For further recorded information from the Oahu Civil Defense Agency, call 527-5372.

After a disaster

If your pet becomes lost, call and visit the Hawaiian Humane Society as soon as possible. The 24-hour phone number for reporting lost and found pets is 946-2187, Ext. 285. Hours for retrieving lost pets are noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and holidays.

The shelter's incoming-animal department is open 24 hours to accept lost or injured animals.

"Pet Ohana" runs the first and third Fridays of the month. The Hawaiian Humane Society is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. They are at 2700 Waialae Ave.


Emergency checklist
for pets

Gather the following items to ensure the safety of your pet in an emergency or natural disaster:

>> Pet carriers, crates or cages, one for each pet

>> Well-fitted collars, identification tags, microchip ID and leashes

>> One to two weeks supply of dry-type pet food

>> Non-spill water and food bowls

>> Unbreakable water storage containers with three-day supply of water

>> Newspapers, plastic bags, cleansers, disinfectants and paper towels

>> Pet's medications, if needed

More help

>> The Humane Society offers brochures with tips for preparing for an emergency, pet first aid and a guide to crate training. Call 946-2187, Ext. 223, or check the Pet Care & Behavior section of the Web site at

>> Microchip IDs will be available for $5 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Hawaiian Humane Society Library. No appointment is necessary.

>> During September, microchip IDs are just $5 at 17 participating veterinary clinics as follows. Call for an appointment.

Aina Haina Pet Hospital, 373-2111

Animal Clinic, Inc., 734-0255

Blue Cross Animal Hospital, 593-2532

The Cat Clinic, 732-8884

Cat/Bird Veterinary Mobile Hospital, 623-5466

Companion Animal Hospital, 262-8141

East Honolulu Pet Hospital, 396-3333

Family Vet Clinic, 484-9070

Feather and Fur Clinic, 254-1548

Hawaii Kai Veterinary Clinic, 395-2302

Island Veterinary Care, 944-0003

Kalihi Pet Clinic, Inc., 841-6313

Kokua Pet Clinic, 843-8382

Makai Animal Clinic, 262-9621

Newtown Vet Clinic, 488-3667

The Pet Doctor, 733-8828

Waianae Veterinary Clinic, 696-4161

>> If your pet already has a microchip ID, make sure the information in the database is still current. If you have moved or changed phone numbers, call the Humane Society at 946-2187, Ext. 0, during business hours.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --