What would you do with your pet in case of a hurricane? How about a tornado, flood or other natural disaster? Be prepared!
June is National Pet Preparedness Month and we are urging you to please make preparations for your pets just in case they should be hit by any type of natural disaster.
A little extra time spent planning and gathering supplies may make a very big difference in how you and your pets weather a disaster. From hurricanes, to tornados, to heavy snows, a house fire, flooding, or even an earthquake…plan ahead!
“If the worst happens, you may not be in a frame of mind to think clearly or have the luxury of time to plot out decisions,” said DoveLewis Hospital veterinary technician Marilee Muzatko. “Knowing that you have a practiced plan in place and ample supplies at hand puts you in a better position to focus primarily on your wellbeing and keep your pet calm and safe.”
Here are some preparation tips for you and your pet to follow before a disaster strikes:
- Be informed— research services available in your area
- Discuss plans for rescue or potential evacuation
- Identify a family meeting spot
- Determine who will be responsible for the pet(s) evacuation and create a hierarchy in case someone is not home
- Prepare and post rescue instructions in your home
- Learn basic pet first aid
- Practice your plan with family, neighbors and pets
- Practice kenneling/crating your pets
- Keep your car’s gas tank close to full and keep emergency cash on hand
In case evacuation becomes necessary, be prepared with the following:
- A current photograph of your pet in case ‘missing’ posters need to be prepared. It is also helpful to have a current photo of you and your pet together to document ownership.
- A pet first aid kit appropriate for your pet’s size and species.
- Two pet specific evacuation kits:
- Any regular medications and cycle the contents frequently so they do not expire; and in a waterproof plastic bag include copies of important documents such as vaccination records, licenses, proof of ownership, microchip registration number, medical insurance papers, and your pet’s veterinary contact information.
- At least seven day worth of daily supplies (food, water, sanitation, bedding, and favorite treats or toys).
- Identify alternate housing for your pet so it can be relocated if taking it with you to a public shelter is not permitted.
In the event that you are not home or unable to reach home to be with your animals when a disaster strikes, try to put a buddy system in place with neighbors or nearby friends and family to be sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets. Make sure they are comfortable with your animals. Review your plans with them, show them where emergency kits are kept, and agree upon a place to meet and how to communicate during an evacuation. It is always a good idea to post a “Pets Inside” sticker on your doors and windows as an alert to rescue workers. These stickers should include the number and types of pets that are in your home as well as a contact phone number for you or a designated responsible party. If time permits, when you or your neighbor leave with your pets, mark on the sticker that they are evacuated to save rescue worker resources.
If you have any other suggestions or a personal experience you would like to share please feel free!