Emergencies show themselves in all shapes and forms and each disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. It is extremely important you have a plan of action for all scenarios such as a hurricane, flood, fire, etc. Here are some simple things you can do in order to be prepared and keep your pets safe:
Obtain a Rescue Alert Sticker: There are several companies, such as the ASPCA, where you can obtain one of these stickers. In the event of an emergency, these stickers will make rescue personnel aware pets are inside your home. This sticker could potentially save your pets' life if they are trapped during a disaster.
Prepare a travel kit and emergency supplies: If you are ordered to evacuate your home, have a kit ready to go for each pet. Even if you don't think it will be long, prepare for the worst.
- Make sure all pets are wearing collar and tags with up-to-date information. If your pet has medical needs, the tag should include this information in case you were to be separated. Microchipping your pet may be a better form of ID as it is permanent.
- Emergency kids should include fresh/sealed food, a pet first-aid kit, food and water bowls, blankets, extra collar and leash, travel bag or crate, necessary medications, recent photos (in the case of separation), toys to keep them calm, and a flashlight.
Arrange a safe haven: You should never abandon your pets in an emergency. If your home isn't safe for you and your family, it isn't safe for them either. They could become trapped and harmed, or even escape and be exposed to more danger.
- If you cannot hold onto your pets during an evacuation, contact your local animal shelter to find out if they provide emergency shelter, or contact your veterinarian for a list of boarding kennels and facilities. You could also ask a friend or family member to take care of your pet if they do not live in the area being evacuated.
- If your pet is unreachable during a disaster it poses a danger to you as well, you should call emergency services right away and inform them your pet is still inside of the home. Make sure your pet is accounted for at all times.
Don't forget to include the entire family in your plans and give everyone a job in order to avoid chaos when the time comes. Click here for more information on pet disaster plans, emergency phone numbers, and what to include in your emergency kits. We hope you will consider these tips when planning for an emergency with your pets.