The scene is set for this Saturday: the next big earthquake has hit SF, a massive 8.5 that wreaks havoc on the Marina District. While evacuees head to Red Cross shelters, their pets are faced with uncertainty as their only place of refuge, SF’s Animal Care and Control has reached capacity. Shelter staff and volunteers must build a temporary animal shelter next to a human one as more earthquake victims seek help.
DART, or Disaster Animal Response Team made up this mock disaster scene for their 70+ students who are training as Disaster Service Workers. Upon completing the drill, students will graduate with a certificate that enables them to be called upon when major disasters strike.
The classes they’ve taken help prepare students, all members of the public, by teaching them how to prepare pets for disasters, make animal disaster kits, help companion animals, and what the City’s response efforts and protocol are.
upon if a major disaster strikes.
Says Kat Brown, Deputy Director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, “The lesson we learned from Hurricane Katrina, and other unfortunate situations, is to take your animals with you.” From that disaster, federal laws have been put in place, requiring all counties to include disaster plans for animals as well their existing plans for humans.
You’re probably not enrolled in DART’s program, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the event: everyone’s encouraged to stop by and pick up their own pet disaster preparedness brochure and emergency ‘Save Our Animals’ sticker.
What: Pick up disaster preparedness info at SF’s first DART drill and disaster exercise
When: Saturday, May 21 from 11:30am-2pm
Where: SF Animal Care and Control, 1200 15th St. at Harrison