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Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies and Disaster

Is your pet cat, dog, or bearded dragon adequately prepared for a sudden emergency or disaster? In this case, it’s good advice to “expect the unexpected.”

January 24, 2022 5 min read
Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies and Disaster

As pet owners, it’s your responsibility to help prevent your furry friends from being lost or injured when emergency events happen or disasters strike. A disaster kit and emergency plan can be beneficial. Focusing on your dog’s overall wellness is essential when preparing for disasters and emergencies. You can start by using natural extracts to enhance canine training and help increase preparedness.

Here are some of the most effective ways to prepare your beloved pet for emergencies and disasters.

Create a Pet Emergency Kit

Ensure the items are accessible and they’re stored inside sturdy containers so you can easily transport them.

Here are some critical items to include in the kit:

  • Food, drinking water, manual can opener for canned pet food, and cat litter and pan for felines
  • Medications and medical records (stored inside a waterproof container)
  • A hard copy of medical conditions, feeding schedules, and behavior problems (also stored inside a waterproof container)
  • Sturdy harness, leashes, and carriers to move pets safely and guarantee they won’t escape, especially when startled, scared, or threatened
  • A first aid kit
  • Pet toys and beds if easily transportable
  • Current photo of your pets and you, in case they become lost, to avoid mistaken identity
  • The name and number of your veterinarian in case you must board or foster your pets

Make an Emergency Plan

Remember that what’s good for you is also good for your pet during an emergency or disaster. So it’s best to prepare your pet animals for emergencies as soon as possible.

Never leave your pet behind or chained up indoors or outdoors if an emergency happens. You may also find it helpful to install a security camera to monitor if no one is left behind easily. Here are some valuable components to include in your emergency plan:

1. Identify Public Emergency Shelters That Will Accept Pets

  • Find pet-friendly hotels on your evacuation route and include a list inside your pet’s emergency kit.
  • Locate animal hospitals or boarding facilities near your evacuation shelter.
  • Consider an out-of-town relative or friend who can provide temporary care and home for your pets.

2. Create a Buddy System for Emergencies When You’re Not Home

Request that a trusted neighbor checks on your animals.

3. Whenever Possible, Get Your Pet Microchipped With Updated Information

The chip should include your current address, phone number, and emergency contact information outside your local area.

4. Bring Pet Medical Records

Veterinarians, animal shelters, and boarding kennels often require these records. This step helps ensure your pet’s vaccinations are updated.

5. Find Pet Boarding Facilities

You may need them if you cannot return home immediately.

6. Find a Local Animal Hospital or Veterinarian for an Emergency Shelter

It’s critical for your pet to receive emergency medical care. Include the contact information in your emergency kit.

Help Emergency Workers Locate Your Pet

Use a rescue sticker alert to make people aware that pets are inside your home.

Ensure the sticker is visible to rescue workers. The sticker should also include the number and types of pets inside your home and the phone number of your veterinarian.

If you must evacuate the area with your pets, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. This step prevents rescue workers from wasting time searching for your pets.

Practice Evacuating With Your Pet During Emergencies

Ensure you take precautionary evacuation measures for numerous or large animals. Not having an emergency plan may cause problems if you suddenly need to evacuate them.

If an emergency happens, bring companion animals indoors and sustain direct control. Ensure your pet emergency kit is prepared for a potential evacuation.

Whenever possible, transfer livestock to higher ground. You should also move sooner if you’re using a horse trailer or other type, as the process will be more time-consuming than other evacuations.

Continuously Stay Informed

Staying prepared and informed of current conditions can boost your preparedness for emergencies. You can use various methods to help keep your pets safe by staying informed.

Next, adhere to evacuation or sheltering orders. Local officials may issue orders to evacuate your home or shelter in place. It’s critical to follow such orders, as this compliance helps maintain the safety of you and your pets.

Take time to download and install the FEMA app. The Federal Emergency Management Agency app provides critical information during emergencies.

You can also get alerts from the United States National Weather Service (NWS) for a maximum of five locations throughout the U.S. If you receive an alert regarding an emergency or storm, immediately bring your pets indoors.

Finally, sign up for wireless emergency alerts. Watch for local warnings and alerts issued by local and state public safety officials.

Don’t Forget Special Considerations

Optimizing the preparedness of you and your pets for emergencies should include weighing special considerations.

  • Horses, birds, and reptiles: These animals will require special considerations in emergencies. For example, you’ll need to prepare a horse trailer for horses, birdcages will need a cover in cold weather, and reptiles need a large bowl to soak in.
  • Geographic Considerations: Plan accordingly if you live in areas more prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. It would help if you also prepared to evacuate early in such situations.
  • Secure access to freshwater: Keep sinks and bathtubs filled with water in case you experience emergencies such as power outages.
  • Determine which rooms are safe havens: Ensure the rooms are free of hazards such as flying debris and windows. Safe zones may include basements or utility rooms.
  • Rise above flooding: In case of flooding, move to the highest location in your home. Another option is rooms with access to high shelves or counters where you can shelter your pets.

Being ready for emergencies and disasters can help keep your pet safe and secure. You’ll receive an advanced warning as a pet owner in some situations. Still, the emergency will be sudden in other situations, such as certain natural disasters. The good news is pet owners such as yourself can take various steps to boost preparedness. Such steps can help maintain the health and wellness of your pets. Emergency kits and plans, evacuation practice, and emergency apps are just some of the ways to safeguard your beloved pets during unexpected events. Make being unprepared for emergencies your pet peeve.