When disaster strikes, it’s hard to remember everything that needs to be done to keep your family and pets safe. This is especially true for those pet owners that may need to leave their homes in a rush for the safety of a shelter or another family member’s home.
Keep in mind a few tips to help prepare to keep your animals safe in times of disaster.
If you know that you live in an area prone to natural disasters, plan ahead. Just as you have a plan for your family, make a similar plan for your pet. Scout pet-friendly shelters and determine what you may need to take to ensure your pet is ready to go at a moment’s notice.
If there is no pet-friendly shelter in your area, consider pet-friendly hotels and make a list of names and phone numbers, so you can call at a moment’s notice in the event of an impending disaster.
Make sure the information on your pet’s tag is updated with your phone numbers, email addresses and physical address. If your pet is microchipped, doublecheck that information as well to ensure your contact information is correct.
Make Sure Vaccinations are Up-to-Date
Pet-friendly disaster shelters typically require pet vaccinations to be updated before allowing you entry. Make sure to get all required shots for your pet on-time and keep a copy in your pet’s emergency bag.
Create a Disaster Kit for Your Pet
Just as you have emergency planning kits for your family members, create a similar kit for your pet. Include extra food, a blanket, a pet bed (if possible), copies of your pet’s vaccination and latest physical paperwork and a water bottle from which they can drink in case you are on the go for a long period.
Also include treats, comfort toys and wipes for cleaning. If your pet takes medication, keep an extra supply in your disaster kit if possible. The more prepared you are with everything your pet needs, the quicker you can grab it and go if need be.
Have a Back-up Plan
Create a back-up plan for your pet in case a disaster happens and all of your pre-planning is upended. For instance, if there is no shelter in your area, could your pet stay with a family member or friend in a safer location? Does your vet or local Humane Society have a shelter for emergencies?
Scope out your options before a disaster strikes, so that you know exactly where your pet will go in the event of an emergency. Whatever you do, never leave your pet at home if you have to evacuate. They are safer on the go with you than they are in an empty house trying to fend for themselves in the event of a disaster or emergency.
Learn more about disaster planning for pet owners and resources to keep your pets safe.