Is Your Pet Prepared for Disaster?
It would be pretty naïve to think that you could not be affected by a disaster. In recent years, abnormal weather patterns have become the norm and thousands of people, either temporarily or permanently, had to leave their homes. While some people have a plan of what to do if an emergency should occur, their pets are often left out of the equation. Pets that are left behind get lost, injured or die. It is important to include them in your emergency preparedness plan. Here are some ways to prepare your pet for a disaster.
Some of the most important aspects of preparing your pet for a disaster are not really that involved or inconvenient. If your pets can wear a collar or tag, they should be wearing them. The most recent contact information needs to be written on the tags. If possible, you should consider having your dog micro chipped. These two actions will increase the chances of you being reunited with your pet should you get separated.
All items needed to transport your dog needs to be easily accessible and located near the door. Hang your pet’s leash near the door. If your pet needs to be transported in a carrier, make sure you have one. Also, figure out how to put the crate together. An emergency situation is not the time to figure out how to operate your carrier. You should also make sure that the carrier fits into your car.
If you have an emergency preparedness plan, you may have already thought about where you are going to stay in an emergency. When considering these options, think about your pet. Try to include places that are able to accommodate your pet. Keep in mind that some of your options may not accommodate pets. If that is the case, talk to friends and family to see if they can house your pet. Other options can include:
Tripswithpets.com (a source for Pet-friendly hotels)
Pet Disaster Kit
Again, you should prepare for a disaster with a pet in the same manner that you would prepare for your family. Here are a few suggestions for your kit.
Food and Water Bowls
Two Weeks of Food and Water (per pet)
Any Necessary Medications
Medical Records that include recent shots and micro chip number
You should also have cleaning supplies on hand to clean up after any accidents. Include in your kit the necessary items for any type of exotic pet. If your pet requires a litter box, litter or other special item, included those in your kit. Bring along a few pet toys and bedding. Pets are also stressed in emergency situations. Having a few items that are familiar to them will keep them calm.
What to Do If You Wait Out a Disaster at Home
Just because an emergency does not require you to evacuate your home, does not mean you should not have some level of preparedness. Find an area in your house where the entire family can gather and move your pets there. It is a good to keep your pets near you in case you need to leave your home. Make sure any animals that cannot come inside are in a safe. Farm animals should be placed in a safe area that can keep them contained.
Close all of your windows and doors. Listen to the radio to track the progress of the storm. It is also important that your monitor the whereabouts of your pets. Some pets have adverse behavioral reactions in emergency situations.
Emergency preparedness is important. However, it is also important that you remember the members of your family that cannot take care of themselves. Design a preparedness plan for your pets. Having a plan to deal with them during an emergency will help to keep your pets comfortable and safe.