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Pets and Beyond

You and Your Pet: Disaster Preparedness

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Despite the latest forecasting technology, Mother Nature has a mind of her own. The track of a hurricane can change without warning. A lightning strike can spark a fast- moving wildfire. A blizzard can bring transportation to a standstill. A family’s best defense is to be ready and considering your pets’ needs is key. The best advice: think ahead, devise a plan and organize a disaster kit for your family and your pet.

The Plan…

Think about pet identification and safe transportation in the event of evacuation. Pets left behind, despite your efforts to create a safe area until your return, will endanger both your pet and first responders. If taking your pet with you is not an option, a well thought out strategy will ensure its safety.

  • Update your pet’s collar and tag information.
  • Consider a microchip. When separated, chips result in more frequent reunions.
  • Purchase a pet carrier and use indelible ink to label the crate with your name and contact info.

Sheltering in place?

  • Choose a safe, pet-friendly room in your home for you and your pets.

Sheltering during an evacuation?

  • Check to see if your area offers a shelter location for owners with pets.
  • Contact family or friends outside the affected area.
  • Call hotels on the evacuation route for pet-friendly accommodations.

The Disaster Kit…

  • Prepare airtight containers of food (or use cans) and water for two weeks.
  • Supply bowls and a manual can opener.
  • Include litter box, poop bags and clean-up supplies for accidents.
  • Package up medications and treat ingestion helpers for two weeks.
  • Secure medical documents in zip lock bags. Include rabies and vaccination info.
  • Set aside durable leashes or harnesses.
  • Choose a few favorite pet toys and comfy bed.

By thinking ahead and being prepared, you’ll go a long way toward keeping your pets safe. Your forethought offers them an extra dose of love and some much-needed calm in the chaos. And in turn, they’ll offer you that familiar affection and comfort you value as a pet owner.