Have an Emergency Plan for Your Pets

A recent Associated Press article discussed how disaster preparedness plans should include pets. With September being Disaster Preparedness Month, we wanted to share some tips on what you can do to help keep your pets safe when disaster strikes:

  • Have an emergency kit stocked for each of your pets and animals. The ASPCA recommends planning for three to seven days. Keep pet carriers and beds easy to locate. Multiple kits are also important to consider, i.e. one for your car, home, and tornado shelter. Kits should include:
    • Plenty of food, treats, and bottled water
    • Feeding dishes
    • Pet first aid kit
    • Manual can openers for canned food
    • Trash bags
    • Medications
    • Blankets and towels
    • Toys to keep pets occupied and distracted
    • Copies of medical records (for proof of vaccinations)
    • Booties to protect your pet’s feet
    • Spare leashes
    • A muzzle (some emergency shelters may require it)
    • Life jacket (in case of flooding)
    • Emergency phone numbers for your pets (veterinarian, microchipping service, etc.)
  • Make sure your pets have proper identification at all times. Collars with up-to-date tags and microchips are the best ways to make sure you can be tracked down if your animals get lost. Keep photos of your pets with you and in your emergency kit, just in case. Pictures featuring you and animals and showing identifiable markings are important.
  • Always evacuate with your pets and animals. If it is not safe for you to stay, it is not safe for them. You never know for sure how long you will be gone. It may be hours, days, or even weeks.
  • Make an evacuation plan now, don’t wait. Identify a place where you can bring your animals if you have to evacuate in an emergency. Keep a listing of hotels/motels that accept pets, as not all temporary shelters will.
  • Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends, and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be sure that they have access to your kits, emergency phone numbers, pet’s records, etc.
  • Make plans for sheltering in-place in the event you are unable to evacuate.
  • There are rescue alert stickers which you can post on a window to let emergency teams know that pets and animals reside at your location. This is especially important if you are not at home when the disaster happens (i.e. earthquakes, fires).
  • Check with your local animal shelter, animal control agencies, and your veterinarian, as they can be valuable resources for disaster planning for your animals on a local basis.

Please let us know any other tips that you have on planning for your pets and animals in the event of a disaster. It’s all about being prepared!



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