People and Animals


Update Your Student’s Disaster Kit:

Most Pasadena schools ask students to bring personal “comfort kits” to be used when earthquakes and other emergencies happen during school hours. Roads may be closed and the city’s firefighters and police officers will be tending to hot spots. Your children may need to stay at school for awhile until you can get there. Keep them comfy with:

  • Extra clothes
  • A “space blanket” from a sporting goods store
  • A small flashlight with batteries (store batteries separately) or lightsticks
  • A travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • A list of medications
  • An index card with emergency information
  • Comfort items, like a family photo or a note from mom or dad

Label all items and include expiration dates. Discuss your family plan and where you’ll reunite after a disaster. Ask about your school’s disaster plan and how often it is reviewed and updated. For more tips, call 626-744-7276.

Help Children Cope with Disaster:

Children may feel frightened or anxious during or after a disaster or emergency. News coverage with repeated images of disasters can cause fear and confusion. Here are some tips for helping children cope.

  • Listen to and understand what your child is saying
  • Address your child’s concerns calmly and lovingly
  • Answer questions in simple terms without elaboration
  • Limit your child’s television news viewing in the first few days after a disaster

Elderly and Disabled

After a disaster, your environment may be very different. Exits may be blocked and sidewalks may be impassable. If you are prepared ahead of time, you will be better able to cope with the disaster and recover from it more quickly.

Make Sure Your Emergency Kit Works for You

In addition to the other items in your emergency kit, consider storing any of these items that may apply to your needs:

  • Cane, crutches, walker or manual wheelchair
  • Denture supplies
  • Batteries for hearing aids
  • Glasses with repair kits or contact lenses with cleaning supplies
  • Heavy gloves for operating equipment (for caregivers)
  • Whistle, loud bell or other alert device and a way for others to notify you
  • Instructions for medications and special equipment
  • Phone numbers and other contact information for physicians and rehabilitation specialists
  • Note pad with pen
  • Supplies for your service animal
  • Aerosol tire repair kit for wheelchairs or scooters

Make Sure Neighbors and Caregivers are Prepared to Help

Tell your neighbors if you are not able to move well or quickly in an emergency and make arrangements in advance for someone to check on you. Develop a support network of people who will check on you following a disaster; do not depend on only one person.
If you have a personal attendant or home health worker, that person may not be able to help you. Talk in advance with your attendant or home health agency about plans for continued client services following an emergency.

Make Sure You Have the Prescriptions and Equipment You Need

  • Never let your prescriptions run out completely. Always try to maintain a three-day supply.
  • For all medical equipment that requires electrical power, such as breathing equipment and infusion pumps, check with your medical supply company about a backup power source. This could include a battery pack or generator.
  • If you receive dialysis or other medical treatments, ask for a copy of your provider’s emergency plan in advance, including where your back-up site may be located.
  • If you rely on oxygen, talk to your vendor in advance about emergency replacements.

Make Sure Your Service Animal is Protected

If you have a pet or service animal, plan for temporary relocations, transportation, etc.

Make Sure You are Able to Evacuate

  • Know all usable exits from each room and your building. Make a habit of identifying exits whenever you are in a new location (shopping mall, restaurant, movie theater, etc.)
  • Practice dealing with different circumstances and unforeseen situations, such as blocked paths or exits.
  • Teach members of your support network how to operate your equipment (how to disengage gears on a power wheelchair, how to lift or transfer you, etc.)
  • Include service animals in drills so they become familiar with exit routes.


If you are in a wheelchair during an earthquake, stay in it and go into a doorway that does not have a door. Lock your wheelchair brakes. Cover your head and neck with your hands.

If you are in bed or out of a wheelchair, stay put and cover your head.


Pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and well being. Here’s how you can be prepared to protect your pets when disaster strikes.

Assemble a Kit for Your Pets

Whether you are away from home for a day or a week after a disaster, you’ll need essential supplies for your pets. Keep a separate kit for your pets next to your own emergency supplies kit. The kit for pets should include:

  • Medications and veterinary records
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost during a disaster
  • Copies of vaccination and animal license records
  • Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan and can opener
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues
  • The name and phone number of your veterinarian
  • Pet beds and toys that are easy to transport

Have a Safe Place to Take Your Pets

  • Plan ahead! If you are evacuated to an emergency shelter your pet will not be able to come with you because of state health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service animals who assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in shelters. Even the most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape or even bite or scratch during disasters or when they are transported to a safe place. So be prepared before disaster strikes.
  • Contact hotels and motels to check their policies for accepting pets and whether those policies include restrictions on the number, size and species of pets. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of pet-friendly locations, including phone numbers, with your other disaster information and supplies.
  • Ask friends or relatives in nearby regions if they would be willing to shelter your animals temporarily in case of emergency.
  • Ask a neighbor in advance if he or she would be willing to take your pets if you are not home when an evacuation order is announced.
  • Prepare a list of kennels and veterinarians that could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.
  • Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets during or after a disaster.
  • Make sure your pets have tags with your phone number and their names in addition to any required license tags.

Pocket Pets

Small animals (hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, etc.) should be transported in secure carriers suitable for maintaining the animals while they are sheltered. Bring bedding materials, food bowls and water bottles.


  • Transport your bird in a secure travel cage or carrier.
  • In cold weather, wrap a blanket over the carrier and warm up the car before placing your bird inside.
  • During hot weather, carry a plant mister to mist the bird’s feathers periodically.
  • Bring a few slices of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content.


  • Your snake should be transported in a pillowcase and then transferred to more secure housing when you reach the evacuation site.
  • If your snake requires frequent feedings, carry food with you.
  • Take a water bowl large enough for soaking.
  • Take a heating pad.
  • When transporting large lizards, follow the same directions as for birds.


Disaster preparedness is important for all animals but it takes extra consideration for horses because of their size, surroundings and transportation needs.

  • Prohibit smoking in and around stables and corrals.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher at each stable and corral.
  • Make arrangements for a horse trailer in advance in case disaster strikes. If you do not have your own trailer or do not have enough trailer space for all your horses, be sure you have several people on standby to help with evacuation.
  • Know where you can take your horses during an emergency evacuation.
  • Store your horse’s veterinary papers, photographs and medical information with your emergency supply kit.
  • Attach your horse’s name, your name, your telephone number and your veterinarian’s telephone number to the halter.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit especially for your horse that includes first aid supplies, water, feed and medications.
  • If your horse is unaccustomed to being loaded onto a trailer, practice the procedure in advance.