Preparing for Disaster

Preparing for Disaster:

During the chaos of a disaster our pets are going to rely on us more than ever to keep them safe. Although we always hope that we are never caught up in a disaster it is always best to be prepared ahead of time. Here are some tips on how to make sure you are well equipped to handle your pets during an emergency:

 

1. Make sure your pet has a collar and up to date ID tag: Be sure to include information such as names, phone numbers, address, and any severe medical conditions that your pet may have. For a more permanent source of identification consider having your pets microchipped. In the event that you and your pet become separated they can be scanned for their microchip at any veterinary hospital or animal shelter.

 

2. Get a Rescue Alert sticker: If an emergency ever occurred within the home, such as a fire, this would alert first responders that pets in the home need rescued. Keep it somewhere visible and close to the entrances of your home. Be sure to include the number and types of pets that live within the home. If you should ever have to evacuate your home and you manage to get your pets out with you, try and write ‘EVACUATED’ over the sticker so nobody will try to enter the premises.

 

3. Arrange a Safe Haven: Whether you have to bunker down or vacate the property, always remember that if the environment isn’t safe for you then it isn’t safe for your pets either! For safe havens outside of the home contact your local veterinarian for recommendations on kennel facilities and pet friendly hotels or talk to your local animal shelter to see if they provide boarding during emergency situations. You may also consider talking with friends and family members in your area to assign designated caregivers.

 

4. Prepare an emergency travel pack: Be sure to include the following;

  • Pet friendly first aid kit. o A week’s supply of food, water, and medication (be sure to check these often, as they expire).
  • Extra leashes, collars, and harnesses. o Laminated photocopies or USB drive of your pet’s medical history and vaccination status.
  • Recent photos of each individual pet (in the event that you are separated these can be used to make LOST posters).
  • Extra blankets. o Carriers for cats and smaller dogs (Be sure each pet has their own carrier. During frightening situations pets may become fearful or panicked. In this situation it is best that they have their own space so as to not hurt themselves or other furry family members)
  • Sanitation items.

 

Be sure to keep your travel pack well stocked and in a safe place where all members of the family can find it. If you ever have questions on the best way to prepare for an emergency please be sure to contact your regular veterinarian!

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