Have you ever thought about what would happen to your furry family members if a hurricane, fire, flood or other natural or man-made disaster were to strike? A well-thought-out plan will help you and ALL of your family members get back together, get help and increase the chances that everyone will stay safe in the event of an emergency.
Here are five tips to help you protect your pets in emergencies:
- Identify a Safe Haven – If you have to leave your home, don’t leave your pets behind. Pets can’t survive on their own. They could escape, become trapped, or worse. Before an emergency strikes, be sure you have identified which shelters accept pets. Some shelters are unable to take in pets for public health reasons. If you’re thinking about evacuating to a local motel or hotel, you should call beforehand and ask if the location allow pets. You can also ask your veterinarian for a list of kennels or boarding facilities in the area.
- ID Your Pets – Ensure that your dogs and cats are wearing collars with up-to-date identification tags, containing their names and any urgent medical needs. Your cell phone number should also be on your pets’ tags. Having your pets micro chipped will also increase your chances of being reunited with them if they get lost. However, remember that the average person who finds your pet isn’t able to scan for a chip but that individual will be able to read an ID tag.
- Don’t Forget Your Birds – If there’s an emergency you may have to take your birds with you. “You should talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given,” according to the Ready.gov website. You should also ensure that your birds are in their cages. Use thin cloths or sheets to filter light as well as offer security.
- Alert Your Alarm Company of Pets – Most alarm companies, such as American Alarm, offer some great pet friendly security options. If your home is monitored, they can alert first responders if there are pets inside your home so they can plan a rescue if possible.
- Put Together a Disaster Kit – Your pet disaster kit should include food and water for at least five days for each pet, as well as bowls. You’ll also need a manual can opener for canned pet food. Other items you’ll need to pack include:
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers so your pets can be transported safely
- Medications and medical records (kept in a waterproof container) and a first aid kit.
- Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
- Information on feeding schedules, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets.
- Pet bed or toys that you can transport them easily.
Don’t find yourself stuck in an emergency situation without a plan! For more information on keeping your entire family safe, read our blog post about creating an emergency evacuation plan.