12 Aug Planning for a Pet in an Emergency
Our pets are as important in a family as any person. When a disaster strikes we often get caught off guard and do not have set plans for our pets. In an Emergency your pet will be highly dependent on you for their safety and well-being. It is important to have a plan in place for any surprise disasters.
Top Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Disaster
- If it is not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it is not safe for them either!
- Include supplies for your pet in your emergency plan kit, or assemble an emergency kit for your pet.
- Make an evacuation plan for you and your pets. Many hotels and shelters do not accept animal guests, other than service animals. It may be good to take a look at hotels and other shelters that you know you can evacuate to with your pets so you have a plan in place before the disaster happens.
What Should Be in Your Pets Emergency Kit?
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safety and ensure that they can’t escape.
- Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and a manual can opener if your pet eats canned food.
- Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.
- First aid kit
- Current photos of you with your pet(s) incase they get lost, they’ll know who to find. It may also help to eliminate the mistaken identity of your pet.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems. and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board pets.
- Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable. This helps reduce the stress on the pet and makes them feel more at home.
Where Can You Find a Safe Place For Your Pets?
- Call a motel or hotel ahead of time to ask about their pet policies if their is a possibility of evacuation. If there are policies in place follow up with asking if they can be waived in the case of an emergency.
- Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.
- Although your animals may be more comfortable together, be prepared to house them separately.
- Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.
- Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. Many pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.
Help Pets Recover After an Emergency
Your pet’s behavior may change dramatically after a disaster, becoming aggressive or defensive. Be aware of their well being and protect them from hazards to ensure the safety of other people and animals.
- Watch your animals closely and keep them under your direct control as fences and gates may have been damaged.
- Pets may become disoriented, particularly if the disaster has affected scent markers that normally allow them to find their home.
- Be aware of hazards at nose and paw or hoof level, particularly debris, spilled chemicals, fertilizers and other substances that might not seem to be dangerous to humans.
- Consult your veterinarian if any behavior problems persist.