How to Prepare for Disaster
How prepared are you if a disaster strikes?
According to the Ministry of the Environment, based on past animal relief effort during large scale disaster, evacuation with pets (doukouhinan) under owner’s responsibility is considered to be a general rule.
Evacuation with your pets (doukouhinan)
This is to evacuate to a safe place with your pets (mainly dogs and cats) when disaster strikes.
When pets are evacuated with their owner, they can provide psychological comfort towards their owner.
Also the following can be prevented:
– Stray pets (especially dogs) from harming local residents
– Dogs and cats from breeding without human supervision
– Harming native ecosystem and wildlife
– Secondary disaster
Accompanied evacuation with your pets (doukouhinan)
This is to evacuate to a shelter and live together with your pets when disaster strikes.
This type of evacuation allows the owner to be together with their pets. However, this may cause some conflicts with those without pets living in the same shelter, due to smell, noise, fur scattering, and animal allergy. The decision to allow pets inside the shelter widely depends on each shelter.
You should always stock necessary goods and know your evacuation route in case disaster strikes. Ministry of the Environment has set guidelines towards people with pets when disaster strikes. Pet owners are requested to consider for those without pets and make an effort to relive their pets’ stress. You should also be aware that your pet needs to be part of the community, and manage necessary training and healthcare during a disaster.
Make sure to prepare for and take action towards the following things
– Prevent disaster at home (for people and pets)
(Bedroom location, preventing furniture from falling)
– Prevent pets from getting lost
(Local registration, registration and name tags, and individual recognition device such as microchips)
– Emergency supply kit and stock pile for your pets
（It may take 2 to 3 days for disaster supplies to arrive)
– Check your evacuation route and shelter
(Depending on the disaster, such as earthquake, heavy rain or tsunami, evacuation route and shelter may change)
– Proper training and healthcare management for your pets
(Pets need to be trained to walk on dangerous roads, becoming used to congestions and living in a group)
Whether or not your pet becomes a source of conflict will widely depend on your mindset and being prepared for a disaster on a regular basis.