03/31/2015 01:25 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 05:59 EDT

Emergency planning for pets urged by South Island Pets Team

Residents of B.C.'s west coast are familiar with the reminders to be prepared for a large scale earthquake — something experts say is a near certainty — pet owners are being reminded to include things for their animals in their emergency preparedness kits.

"Pack some stuff for your pet. If they have a favourite toy maybe pick him up another one that looks just like it, a blanket or a shirt that smells like you, extra food for your animal, extra water and medications," Stephanie Cambrey, the event coordinator for the South Island Pets Team, told On The Island's Gregor Craigie.

The South Island Pets Team is a non-profit group based in Victoria that formed in 2012 with the goal of providing emergency services for pets.

"If you are being evacuated from your home and [Emergency Social Services] has set up a reception centre for the people, currently there's no law allowing your pet to be with you in those centres, so we set up a separate area close by and we will take care of your pets while the ESS team takes care of you," said Cambrey.

She said the pet owners should also include their pet's medical history and extra photos on hand for volunteers.

She said if there are no other options, pet owners can leave their pets at home in the event of an evacuation.

She said in that case, they should leave the pet in a room with the door closed and lots of extra food and water — and a note saying there is an animal inside the house.

"In a lot of cases somebody will come in there and they will take your animal and bring them in to a shelter," she said.

To hear the full interview with Stephanie Cambrey, click the audio labelled: Emergency preparedness for pets.