You don’t have to wait for Hurricane season to consider emergency plans for yourself and your belongs. And – don’t forget about some special planning for your pets! According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Have a “what if” plan! What if disaster strikes and you cannot get home to your pet? Have a nearby friend or pet sitter who can get your pet out and to a safe area if you cannot.
- Have a kit. Have enough pet food and water to last about a week. (Don’t forget a can opener if needed!) Following a serious storm, tap water may contain chemical and/or bacteria. Use bottled water for yourself and you pet during that time.
- Have information about your pet. If your pet gets lost or runs away during an emergency, have photos and information to help identify them. Of course, information on the pet (collar, tag, microchips, tattoo, etc.) are also very helpful.
- Keep vaccinations up to date. This documentation will be required if you need to place your pet in a shelter. This applies to medications for your pets as well.
- Provide comfort items. Pets get stressed during emergencies too! Provide favorite toys, always have a leash and collar or other containment device, and provide TLC.
Other things to consider:
Put a rescue alert sticker by your front door to let rescue workers know pets are inside. Cross it out and write EVACUATED on it to let others know your pets are safely out of the home during an emergency.
Keep your pet contained or on a leash when returning home. Items and conditions in the area could be hazardous to you pet after an emergency.
Consider a microchip for your pet. This allows veterinarians to scan lost pets so they can be safely returned home. Make sure the microchip is registered and kept up to date with current information.
Find out more:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pet Emergency Checklist
- The Humane Society: Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets
- CDC: Keep your pets safe in an emergency: 5 things to know