Disasters can happen anywhere at any time. The public doesn’t usually get a lot of notice before a disaster strikes, so you must be prepared in advance and know what to do quickly if there is an emergency. Here are 5 simple steps that you can take to prepare your pets and reduce the level of stress and worry for your entire family to a minimum. Tip #1. Get a Pet Emergency Supplies Kit. Have it readily accessible and make sure it consists of at least the following items:
- Pet first aid kit that will cover your pets’ emergency medical needs. If your pets take any medications, add some extra supplies.
- Food (in water proof container) and water, 3-day ration.
- Collars with ID tags – make sure the information is current and updated. You might consider microchipping as permanent identification as collars get lost.
- Safety harness and leash.
- Sanitation Items.
- Rescue Pet Decals – to alert rescue teams to save your pets inside the house.
- Comfort toys and blankets to take with your pets if you have to evacuate.
Tip #2. Pack a picture of your pets in case you get separated. It will help rescue workers to identify and reunite you with your pets faster. Tip #3. Get your pets familiar with their carriers or crates. Usually, pets associate them with visits to the vet and become stressed at the first site of them. Let your pets play in the carrier or get them some treats to make the transition easier when the time comes. Tip #4. Know your pets hiding places in and out of the house. At the first warning of a disaster, you might consider putting them in one room in case you have to leave in a hurry. Tip #5. Have a Family Emergency Plan Ready:
- Map out a get-away plan: how you pack your pets, where you go.
- Check with the nearby shelters, veterinary hospitals, and hotels to see if they would take your pets in an emergency.
- Develop a pet care buddy system – arrange for friends or extended family to take your pets in if you must evacuate in a shelter that doesn’t allow pets for health issues. Instruct your caretakers on the location of the emergency supplies kit and anything else you might find useful.
- Learn about various disasters that could strike your particular area. You might have to wait home longer before getting an order to evacuate, so get some extra supplies of food and water.
- If you have to evacuate, take your pets with you if possible.