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You and Your Pet: Disaster Preparedness
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.
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.