28 Jan 2016

Environment

How to survive an emergency with your pet – evacuation exercise, Shirehampton

Would you know how to make sure you and your pet can get to safety in an emergency?

Bristol City Council’s Civil Protection Unit held a public evacuation exercise on Tuesday (26 January) at the City and Port of Bristol Social and Sports Club to demonstrate what people can expect in an emergency situation and where they should go. The day consisted of exercises and role playing to encourage people to consider how they would react in a worst case scenario.  

Residents of Jim O’Neil House and Stow House, sheltered housing for older people, took part in the event along with other members of the public.

People with pets were encouraged to come along as well to find out how they can make sure their animal stays safe in a time of crisis

Volunteers from other parts of the council were on hand to help with the exercises, manage the signing in process and ferry “evacuees” to the venue.

A local animal charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind, also attended the event to see how these plans would work in practice and to take part themselves.

Simon Creed, Civil Protection Manager for Bristol City Council said: “Pets can be a treasured part of the family and it is important that we are able to look after them too if we need to. Today’s exercise is our way of making sure that all our procedures would work in a worst case scenario.

“I am confident that the lessons that we learn today will be vitally useful when planning emergency procedures in the future especially when considering animal welfare.”

As part of their emergency planning, the CPU take special care to make sure extra preparations are made to make sure that people’s pets and domestic animals are not left behind.

As recognition of their effort, the team have won Gold in the RSPCA’s Community Animal Welfare Footprint awards for three years in a row. The award recognizes the work and commitment of the Civil Protection Unit in their efforts to embed animal welfare in to their contingency planning.