No matter where you live natural disasters can occur. Either forces of nature affecting entire areas or individual home disasters such as fire, flood, or even accidents. September is devoted to preparing ourselves for any major disasters in the U.S. and beyond. This includes plans and preparations for our pets.
What Can Pet Parents Prepare for an Emergency?
When you ask yourself who is included in your family, you naturally include your pets, right? And this means we care for them and protect them the best we can. This includes preparing with them in mind case disaster strikes.
In the terrible circumstance of getting separated from our pets, we can be prepared by having them microchipped and our information listed when the chip is scanned. It is also a good idea to have an identity tag attached to kitty’s collar with her name, your name, phone number, and address. Also, include information regarding any medical conditions or special needs.
- In Case of Fire
Be sure to place a sticker that identifies how many pets live in your home on a front window or your door. This guides emergency workers to find pets in the house.
In case you are hospitalized and you’re the primary caretaker of your pet, you want to be sure that someone is aware of how to access your pet and your pet’s vet records and supplies.
Having an emergency sticker is the first step in protecting your pet should you be hospitalized.
You also want to keep an emergency pet sitter’s contact information on your phone. Have instructions somewhere available in your home for them to use and a way to access your home to take care of your pet.
Evacuation Due to a Hurricane, Tornado or Flooding
If at all possible it is much better to take your kitty or dog with you rather than even leaving a pet behind. If the house isn’t safe for you it isn’t safe for them either.
With so much extra energy and panic in the air most pets, especially cats may try to run away and hide. This makes having a plan in place even more important. If am emergency arises, the sooner your pets are contained in a secure carrier the better.
You can prepare for evacuating by making a list of boarding kennels and facilities if you cannot bring your pet with you. You may also ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter. Many local shelters take in people and their pets, as well. Friends and family outside your immediate area may be willing to take in your pet, and it’s a great time to ask them if they’d be willing to house your pet in case you must leave. They may even agree to be permanent foster parents in case you are unable to return for any unforeseen reason.
It's a great idea to have a list of pet-friendly hotels along your evacuation route if you are traveling with your pet.
If you need to evacuate your home, update your sticker to inform emergency personnel that your pets are not home
If asked to evacuate you must also be able to bring everything dog or cat needs along with you. Be sure to make a packing list that includes
- Food and water along with bowls (see below for details)
- Litter box and litter for cats
- Extra collars and leashes
- Vet records
- First-Aid kit
Preparing an Evacuation or Pet Emergency Pack
Gather 3 to 7 days worth of food in a sealed container--the last thing you want to happen is that your dog or cat decides to break into their food in the car as you’re driving. You also need to along enough water for 3 to 7 days and approximately an extra gallon of water per pet for cleanups or in case of spills.
Preparing Your Pet’s Vet Records
Next, it is necessary to have kitty’s vet records and any medications in a waterproof (and possibly even fireproof) container.
- Your Pet’s Evacuation Pack
Prepare a pet evacuation pack and keep it handy all year long. It should contain a first aid kit, a first aid guide book that can walk you through how to respond to a medical emergency, disposable litter trays, scoopable litter, a scoop, cleaning supplies, plastic bags, extra dishes, leash, and collar. Other possible items that could be included are a flashlight, blanket, photos of your pet, and cage liners. Food, medications, and water should be rotated to keep them fresh if they are kept in the evacuation pack.
- Pet Emergency Preparedness At-A-Glance
- When preparing for an emergency or disaster, the first priority is to have your pet microchipped and ID tags made.
- Secondly, prepare a safe travel carrier, leash, harness or collar.
- Third, a plan of where your pet can safely shelter with or without you.
- Fourth, prepare your pet’s emergency rations of food, water, and litter.
- Finally, create your pet’s waterproof evacuation box with your pet’s vet records, medications, and other emergency needs, such as a flashlight and photos for identification should be arranged and put in a specific place in case of disaster and all family members made aware of it.
Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
Take time this month to go over your emergency plan. If you don’t have one, it’s time to make one. You never know when an emergency may strike.
ViviPet Kitty Bowl Collection
— Meow for now —