Emergencies Can Happen Any Time- Make Sure Your Pets Are Prepared!
You Can Take Action to Help Your Pet!
Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pet safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. There are a few simple things your can do ahead of time, that way when disaster strikes, you are prepared.
What You Can Do to Keep Your Pet Safe:
Get a rescue alert sticker. This easy to use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. The best placement for something like this would be on or near your front door so it is easily visible to rescue workers. It should include the types and number of pets in your household as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. These stickers can be ordered online or purchased at local pet supply stores.
Having a safe haven for your pets arranged prior to an evacuation can be lifesaving. Do not leave your pets behind. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets either. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all emergency shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
Contact your vet for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities
Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets
Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets
Ask friends and relatives outside of your immediate area if they would be willing to take your pets in temporarily
What If I Have To Evacuate?
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst- case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain it’s name, a telephone number where you can be reached, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pets name, your name and contact information on your pets carrier as well.
The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a permanent form of identification. Be sure to update your information as soon as anything changes, that way in the event of an emergency, the information will be current.
Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and hat it is clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “evac-pack” include:
Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include for your pets needs)
3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop top) or dry food.
What Items Should I Bring?
Disposable litter trays for cats (aluminum roasting pans work well)
Litter or paper toweling
Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
Disposable garbage bags for cleanup
Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
Photocopies and/or USB or medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Remember to rotate food and medicine out of your emergency kit so they do not expire or go bad.
At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet
A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally on for each pet
Recent photos of your pets in case you are separated
If you live in an area that is prone to certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, or flooding, you should plan accordingly. Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens inside your home if you are not evacuated. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc. Choose easy to clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms and basements as safe zones. Make sure you have access to a supply of fresh water. In the even of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter. Be sure to heed all local and state issued warnings, especially in the case of evacuation. Natural disasters can be devastating, but being prepared can make all the difference in life threatening situations for both yourself and your pet.
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