A PREPAREDNESS REMINDER:
Don’t forget about your pets when preparing for emergency or disaster.
From deadly tornadoes to flash floods, there’s hardly a region that is not subject to one form or another of disaster.
Unfortunately, when it comes to pets, statistics reveal that a majority of people have not considered the needs of their pets in planning for emergencies…
We encourage all individuals to prepare their families, including pets, for potential disaster. In an emergency, your pet will depend on you for his or her safety and well-being. It’s up to you to protect Fido or Fluffy when the unexpected hits.
“In an emergency, your pet will depend on you for his or her safety and well-being, so it’s crucial to prepare them like you would any two-legged family members,”
“A 2012 survey reveals that 52 percent of Georgians [probably similar elsewhere] have not stocked extra emergency supplies for their pets. If you take the time to prepare today, you can help avoid stress and worry on you and your loved ones—including Fido—in the event of an emergency.”
Start by creating a pet Ready kit that includes basic items such as food, water, medication and important documents like rabies vaccination forms.
Depending on what type of pet you have, you may want to include an extra collar with an ID tag, litter, an extra harness or leash and familiar items such as a favorite toy or bed or blanket to reduce stress.
Keep a picture of your pet so that if the pet becomes lost or missing, you can show it to others for identification purposes.
After packing the kit, create a plan detailing where to take your pet during an emergency.
Remember, if you have to evacuate, most emergency shelters cannot accept animals due to public health reasons.
Try to locate a pet-friendly hotel that would accept you and your pet, or a boarding facility. Do this ahead of time for your region and keep the list of potential locations in the pet kit with addresses and phone numbers.
Also consider out of town friends or relatives who would be willing to lodge you and your pet during an emergency.
Never leave your pets behind in a disaster; they can be hurt, lost or killed.
What unique items should you have in your pet Ready kit?
That depends on your pet. But here are a few ideas…
Food (enough for the potential duration)
Water (water bottles are convenient for storage)
Bowls (food and water)
Crate or pet carrier
Copy of documents (Rabies vaccination, registration, etc.)
A picture of you and your pet together (helps verify ownership if lost)
Familiar items (toys, bedding)
The point is, think about it, and put together a pet kit. Consider using an appropriate size plastic storage bin for this; something you could quickly take with you.