May 11 2019
This year, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is on May 11th and it’s a day meant to bring awareness to the importance of creating a plan of what to do in a natural disaster for not only your human family but also your pets. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes happen around the world every year and can cause chaos and confusion in communities, especially when an evacuation is required.
By creating an emergency plan in advance and including a plan for your pets in that plan, you can ensure that you’ll be prepared for the unknown, especially in the case you need to leave your home quickly.
There are a number of ways you can prepare for a disaster with your pets:
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Create an emergency supply kit for your pet in an easy to carry bag. If possible, consider making two kits – one in case you stay in your home and a smaller one in case you have to evacuate.
- 3-day supply of food, in an airtight waterproof container
- 3-day supply of water, specifically for your pet
- Water dish and food bowl
- Medicines, medical records and vaccine records, in a sealed plastic bag
- Collar, identification tag, harness and a sturdy leash
- Crate (if easily transportable) and blankets to keep warm in case of a power outage
- A picture of you and your pet together – in case you become separated from your animal, you can show the picture to rescuers to easily prove ownership when they are found.
- If you need to evacuate, familiarize yourself with safe pet friendly places to stay along your evacuation route. Hotels and motels that normally prohibit non-service animals may allow pets to stay in the case of an emergency, so be sure to call ahead and ask what their policy is. Make reservations if you know in advance that there is a chance you may be forced to leave your home. BringFido.com is an excellent resource for identifying lodging that is pet friendly.
- Ask friends, family, your vet and boarding facilities that are not in the immediate area of danger if they can care for your animal in case of an emergency. Create a list with phone numbers ahead of time so you don’t have to waste precious time searching for contact information.
- Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date as many boarding facilities will require proof of this before accepting your pet.
- Keep collars and ID tags on your pets and ensure that tag identification information is up to date. Bark Busters WaggTaggs™ are available to all of our clients free of charge. Register yours today!
- If possible, consider microchipping your pet – in case you get separated and their collar slips off, it’s another way for rescuers to contact you when your pet is found.
- Have decals on the windows near the front door of your home indicating what animals and how many are in the house. First responders will see this and can rescue the animals if you are not home.
- It is a good idea to have your dogs trained, where they are comfortable and happy to sleep in a crate in case you and your pets have to go into emergency accommodation.
- Plan ahead in case you are out of town when disaster strikes. Before you leave town, let a neighbor know how they can get in to your home and where your emergency kit is so they can assist in protecting your pets.
Please remember, that if it isn’t safe for you to stay in your home, it’s not safe for your pet either! Creating an emergency supply kit for your pet is an important step you can easily take when you’re creating your family’s kit and it will allow you to be prepared to take care of them should something happen.