When a natural disaster strikes, does your plan include your pets? Different types of natural disasters require different precautions. Find out what the best plan of action is for disasters that are most likely to strike your area. You may not be able to predict the specific circumstances of the disaster, but by creating a general pet emergency plan, you will have precautions in place that help you react in a way that best protects your pets.
ID – This is probably the most important tip. You may be separated from your pets during a disaster, and proper identification can make the difference in reuniting you. Your pets should always have on a tag with your current contact information as well as a microchip.
Get a Rescue Alert sticker – The ASPCA provides them for free. https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack. By placing them in a spot that is visible to rescue workers, you are letting them know to look out for your animals when disaster strikes.
If you are staying with your pets – The disaster can significantly change your pet’s behavior and could endanger other animals in the home. Separate your pets from one another, even if they normally get along. Crates and carriers work well for this purpose, particularly if you all have to be in a small area together for safety reasons. If you must leave your pets, never, never crate them or tie them up!
Take your pets with you – Do not leave your pet behind if an evacuation is needed. If it is not safe for you, then it is not safe for your pet. The Red Cross disaster shelters do not accept animals (unless it is a service animal). If that is where you plan to go, you will have to make alternate plans for your pets ahead of time.
Talk to neighbors – As part of your preparedness plan for your pets, designate someone who is willing and able to help your pet if you are unable to. This caretaker should be nearby, have a key to your home and be someone familiar to your pets. It is also good to find someone who is home during the day if you are usually away at work.
Create a pet emergency kit:
• Dog food to last at least five days
• A can opener
• Feeding dishes
• Two weeks supply of your pet’s medication
• Bottled water to last at least seven days
• Extra collars and leashes
• Poop bags or garbage bags
• A recent photo of your pet (in case you are separated)
• A copy of your pet’s medical records (to show your pets are up-to-date with vaccinations)
• Pet carrier or crate
• Pet first aid kit (can be purchased at Ryan’s, Petco, PetSmart)
Excerpts from Wendy Wilson, Cesar’s Way.
Rover’s Rest Stop Kids are excited for fall – a busy one! Join us for Dr. Walker’s Wags & Whiskers Charity Walk and the Halloween Parade at Diamond Lake with Sandy and Judy – See you all there! For more information, call 480-600-2828.