Our pets often become more than animals to us, they become members of the family! And just as we make emergency preparations for our families, we need to make emergency preparations for our pets. For the most part, pets need the same preparations and items that we need, including food, water, shelter, medications, etc as well as a few special items specific to just your pet. By making all of the following preparations beforehand, your pet will be ready to go in any emergency.
Practicing your family evacuation plan is a great way to make sure that you are ready for an emergency. If you have a pet, practice evacuating with them so your family knows what to do when an animal is added into the mix. With smaller pets, get a carrier for evacuation. As you practice, your pet will become accustomed to the carrier.
*Always be sure to bring your pet with you if you need to evacuate. If it is not safe for you to stay in your home, it is not safe for your pet.*
Pet Rescue Alert Sticker
ASPCA offers free stickers that you place in the window of your home to notify rescue personnel of any pets on the premises. Include the name and type of pet so they can find and evacuate your pet. If you bring your pet with you when you evacuate, just write “evacuated” across the pet sticker.
A good tracking device for your pet is a microchip. This chip will transmit the location of your pet to you if they were to become lost in an emergency.
Collars, Tags, and Leashes
A disaster can be a hectic situation and you don’t know how your pet will react. Make sure that your pet is always wearing a collar with tags in case you ever become separated from your pet. The tags should include the pet’s name, your name, and a phone number to call in case they were to get lost. Along with a collar, you should include a leash in your emergency kit. You may also want to include a harness or even a longer leash to be ready for living situations after an emergency.
Food and Water
These items are just as important for animals as they are for humans. As you prepare for your pet, make sure that you have at least a week’s worth of food, either canned or dry, and a week’s worth of water for each pet.
Emergency Grab Bag
The best way to contain all of the items your pet needs is in a pet emergency kit. This is similar to a 72 hour kit. The emergency bag can include things like toys, brushes, dishes, litter, and hygiene supplies that will help you care for your pet. You can keep this bag with your own emergency supplies so it is easy to access if you ever need to go.
Medications and medical records are important to keep in your pet emergency kit. Keep a copy of your pet’s medical record and include any medicines that your pet takes. This can include things for tics and fleas or stomach worms.
Not every emergency shelter accepts pets, The American Red Cross being one of them, so you will need to make arrangements beforehand to find out where your pet can stay. Some options are to call local animal shelters or your veterinarian to see if they accept pets during an emergency. You can also call hotels outside of your area to see if they accept pets or if they waive pet policies during an emergency. And if you have any friends or family who lie outside your area, you can always see if they would be willing to take your pet.
As you make these preparations for your pet and practice them with your family, it will be easy to take the necessary steps if the time comes. Pets can be just as important to us as the other members of our family, and by preparing them for an emergency, you can ensure their safety and well-being no matter what happens.