Do you have a family emergency plan? Do you have protocols on what each family member must do in case of a natural or man-made disaster? Do you know what to do with your pets when that happens? If you answered yes to the first two, but no to the third, you’re not as prepared as you think you are.
Thinking of your pets when you craft your disaster-preparedness plans is not just a humane thing to do. It also ensures that rescuers or first responders are safe. If your pet is wary of strangers and loyal only to you, they could hinder these people from doing their jobs.
Emergency Kits for Pets
The first thing you should have done as part of your emergency planning for your family is to create an emergency kit. It should have basic supplies like food, water, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Each family member should have also gotten their own go-bag that also includes identification papers and special medication. What you might have neglected to do is to create an emergency kit for your pet. Here’s what you should include:
- Their update medical documents including rabies certification, other vaccinations, and their medical history
- Photocopies of proof of legal ownership or registration information
- Microchip information (something we strongly advise you get done soonest to ensure your pet’s safety)
- Food and water supply good for at least two weeks
- Medications good for two weeks, if necessary
- Care and feeding instructions
- Flea, tick, and heartworm prevention medicine good for a month
- Their leash and collar with ID tags or a harness
- Litterbox and litter supply good for a month, if you’re evacuating cats
Keep in mind that if you have more than one pet, each one should have its own emergency bag. You might also consider purchasing travel crates now. This way, you could get your pets acclimatized to the new crates as soon as possible. Make sure each one is clearly and permanently labeled with your pet’s name.
What to do When You Need to Evacuate
With the technology we have nowadays, it’s easy for experts to predict when a natural disaster such as floods or hurricanes can occur. When that happens, you could easily make arrangements for friends or family members to take care of your pets temporarily.
The further away they are from the epicenter of these natural disasters, the safer they are and the less anxious you’ll be. Check out the prices for cross-country ground transportation for pets. Some of these professional services are reasonably priced yet offer high-quality services, and that small amount will ease your mind knowing that they’re on their way to a safe place.
If it’s a man-made disaster you have to contend with, such as the current wildfires ravaging the West Coast, chances are you won’t have time to arrange for your pet to be transported to a trusted friend or family member. In that case, you need to be prepared with a list of pet-friendly hotels in your area. If there aren’t any, seek the help of kennels or boarding facilities far from where the disaster has struck. The critical thing to note here is that you should not leave your pet behind should an evacuation be necessary.
Disasters, whether man-made or natural, is a fact of life. Our pets and other animals are especially vulnerable when these things occur. It is up to us to be prepared for when they do.