Severe weather, polar vortex, hurricanes, earthquakes. No matter the cause are you pet ready in the event of a natural disaster or severe weather? In an emergency situation, your pets are more dependent on you than ever, so it’s important to have a disaster plan for your furry family member as well. Being prepared can save their lives.
The Red Cross has suggested the following tips and lists to help keep your pet safe during a disaster.
Top Tips for keeping your pet safe:
- If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for them either
- Include supplies for your pet in your emergency kit, or assemble an emergency kit for your as well
- Make an evacuation plan for you and your pets. Many hotels and shelters do not accept animal guests, other than service animals.
Know a safe place for your pet:
If you have to evacuate your home during a disaster, the best way to protect your pets it o evacuate them too. If it’s not safe for you to stay behind, it’s not safe for you to leave them behind either.
- Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept pets in an emergency. Call ahead for reservations if you know you may need to evacuate. Ask if no pet policies can be waived in the event of an emergency.
- Most American Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are allowed in Red Cross shelters.
- Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.
- Although your animals may be more comfortable together, be prepared to house them separately.
- Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.
- Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. May pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.
- Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian.
- Read more about The American Red Cross’s safety tips for traveling with your pet.
Making a pet emergency kit
- 7-day of bottled water for each pet.
- 7-days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food for each pet.
- Pet feeding dishes & water bowls.
- Extra collars and tags, harnesses and leashes for all pets.
- Copies of pet medications and vaccinations.
- 2-week supply of medication and copy of any current prescriptions.
- A recent photo of your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help eliminate mistaken identity and confusion. It will also help in making lost posters.
- A crate or traveling carrier large enough for each pet to stand up in and turn around. Label the crate with your pet’s name, your name and contact information.
- Disposable litter trays with litter for cats and extra cage liners for dogs.
- Tools and supplies for sanitation and waste cleanup.
- Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include).
- Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.