Keep Your Pets Safe in the Event of an Emergency
Most of us spend so much time with our pets that we think of them as members of our family. But, many of us don’t think about what happens to our pets in the event of an emergency. This is why June is National Pet Preparedness Month, to start up this important conversation and help prepare pet owners for unforeseen emergencies.
Make a Plan
Emergencies come in many different shapes and sizes so it is important to be prepared for many different contingencies. You should know in the area that you live if you are more prone to wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or some other type of natural disaster. Each of these different disasters will most likely involve a different effective plan for how to take care of your pet.
No matter what kind of disaster you are preparing for here are some helpful tips to help make those emergency situations easier:
- Always keep your pets identification tags up to date. Their ID tag needs to include rabies information, their name, and your name and contact information.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure that the contact information tied to the microchip is up to date.
- Have a pet carrier for each of your pets. Make sure that the carriers are large enough for your pet to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down.
- Research hotels and other animal friendly places in your area where you can evacuate to if needed.
- Keep extra emergency supplies on hand like litter, trash bags, and a minimum of three days supplies of food and water.
If there are early signs that a disaster could occur make sure that you keep your pet close with you. If you receive an evacuation notice you will want to be able to quickly grab your pets and go. Having to find them and corral them means that you will lose precious time while trying to get your family out of a dangerous situation.
Since you never know when a disaster is going to strike it is important that you have an emergency kit packed for each pet at all times. According to NFPA the following should be included in each pet’s kit:
- Pen or pencil
- Pet food
- Food bowls
- Collar, harness, leash
- Litter and litter pan
- Sanitation bags
- Notepad for documenting special details and needs
- One or two flash drives that store the following information (this information should also be written on the above notepad)
- List of important phone numbers: veterinarian, neighbor, pet-friendly hotels in the area
- Pet vaccination records
- Ownership records: adoption paperwork, registration, health insurance information, license information
- Medication information including copies of current prescriptions
- Special needs information: emotional or behavioral needs, special diet need, and allergies
For more information about how your pets can start fires or how to evacuate them during a fire, check out our previous blog post, Fire and Life Safety with Your Pets.
-The IFS Team