This morning, many of us felt a small earthquake here in San Francisco . . . yikes. While it's scary for everyone involved, the pet owners at Sugar HQ began wondering about furry friends back at home. First off, even though there are no guarantees, I get extra peace of mind by having a decal with my pet's name and my phone number on my door in case of emergency personnel – the ASPCA will send you a safety pack for free by simply requesting this online.

  • Check crate placement. If you crate a pet, make sure you position it far away from windows and any shelving with large objects that could topple or break. (North's crate is under my solid wood desk.)
  • Put a backup plan in place. Both my dog walkers and a pal who live nearby have keys to my apartment. If you work far from home, it's a good idea to make sure someone close by has easy access to a pet in case of a disaster.
  • Have leashes/crates ready. Even if your pet roams free during the day, have a travel crate on hand in case you need to leave suddenly. Kitties can get very spooked (and harder to catch) so make sure you have a way to secure a feline if you need to evacuate. Also, if taking an animal out of a crate, have the leash ready to immediately snap because even the calmest, well-trained pet can get spooked and get hurt with any broken items around the home.

PS, don't ever leave a pet at home – if you're evacuating, take your furry friend with you!