Hurricane season began on June 1st. The reality is that an emergency can present itself at any time of the year. Hurricanes, Tornadoes, blizzards and wildfires can cause emergency evacuations from our homes. Is your pet prepared for such an emergency? Read this list to ensure that your pet will be safely protected should an emergency situation present itself in your region of the country.
Make sure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and keep records accessible. Store your pet’s vaccination records with all the other important documents of the family. Keep everything in one large envelope and put it in your fire proof box with your family’s birth certificates and life insurance papers. Ask your veterinarian for an extra set of vaccination documents and pertinent papers to your pet’s health. Better to have two sets, and keep them in two separate places.
Keep your pet’s collar on them and consider adding an additional phone number to their tag. List your cell phone number or a phone number of a friend or relative along with your home phone number. If your pet is found during or after an emergency, your home phone number will be useless while your family is evacuated.
Along with your family’s emergency supply, keep an emergency package for your pet too. Keep bottled water, a water bowel and pet food to last several days. Pet food in a can will last longer than dry. Be sure to include a can opener as well. Ask your veterinarian for an extra supply of your pet’s required medication. Check the food and medication periodically to make sure they have not expired.
Be sure to have a pet carrier or crate that your pet will fit into. Your pets may never need the crate or carrier during normal life, but it may be necessary during an emergency evacuation. Local evacuation shelters usually require your pets to be contained, so it is better to have one and never use it, than need it and be without during an emergency. Keep a blanket or towel in there for comfort for your pet.
Be familiar with boarding facilities in your area. Many local evacuation facilities do not allow pets. Be sure to have a backup plan for your pets if it turns out that your family will be in one place and your pets will need to be housed somewhere else during an emergency situation.
Think Ahead. Just as it is prudent to know in advance where your family will go to stay during an emergency evacuation, you must also be clear on where your pets will go. If your family’s emergency plan is that you will travel an hour north to stay with family during an emergency, research the pet friendly hotels in the area. If for any reason your pet will not be able to stay with your family at your predesignated emergency refuge, you will already have the information to relocate quickly.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Just as our families need to be prepared in an emergency, our pets do too.