PREPARING FOR AN EMERGENCY
Take record heat waves, year-round wildfires, plus floods and add to that tornadoes - it almost seems like a disaster is potentially right around the corner. We can't control Mother Nature, but one thing we can control is to have an emergency plan in place. Take time now to get yourself and your household, including pets, ready for the unexpected. If you do, you will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry. Here are 6 steps to help you on your way to peace of mind:
1. GET A KIT OF PET EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Just as you do with your family’s emergency kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water.
Food: keep at least 3 days of pet food in an airtight, waterproof container. Include bowls.
Water: store at least 3 days of water specifically for your pets, in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.
Medicines and medical records: keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container. Consider using RESCUE FACTS Pet ID to record your pet’s medical info (attaches to buckle collar).
First Aid Kit: talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs, and see our earlier blog on making your own pet first aid kit.
Collar with ID tag, harness, leash: your greyhound should wear a collar with ID and rabies tags at all times. If your dog is microchipped, make sure contact info is up to date. Include a muzzle, backup leash and collar in your emergency supplies kit.
Crate or other pet carrier: necessary if evacuating to an emergency shelter that takes pets.
Sanitation items: poop bags, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and household chlorine bleach for cleaning and disinfecting.
Creature comforts: your pet may be confined to a small space for an undetermined amount of time. Try to include some familiar items, like favorite toys, treats or bedding in your pet emergency kit. Like you, your pets will be nervous and frightened. Soothing them any way you can, will make your pets more likely to stay calm and relaxed until conditions improve.
2. ASSEMBLE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents, and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and add to your emergency kit. Also include a picture of you and your pet together, in case you become separated. Write on the back breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics (i.e., tattoos).
3. MAKE A PLAN FOR WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
Plan for what you will do in an emergency. If you have to evacuate, where will you go? You will want to take your pets with you if at all possible. Public shelters may not allow animals inside, so can you find friends or relatives out of harm’s way to stay with in an emergency? Other options may include: a hotel or motel that takes pets or some sort of boarding facility, such as a kennel or veterinary hospital that is near an evacuation facility or your family’s meeting place. Find out before an emergency happens if any of these facilities in your area might be viable options for you and your pets.
4. GET CONTACT INFO FOR EMERGENCY ANIMAL TREATMENT
Make a list of contact information and addresses of area animal control agencies including the Humane Society or ASPCA and emergency veterinary hospitals, as well as your normal veterinarian. Keep one copy of these phone numbers with you and one in your pet’s emergency supply kit.5. HAVE A BUDDY SYSTEM
Plan with friends, neighbors, or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or to evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pet’s emergency supply kit. Pre-plan a specific location, one locally and one farther away, where you will meet up in an emergency. Offer them mutual aid, in case they are in need and you can help.
6. NOTIFICATION SIGNS FOR YOUR HOUSE
Put up signs like these on window or front and back doors to notify first responders of pets inside. Consider putting your phone number on these signs for someone to contact you. If time permits, write the words “evacuated with pets” across the signs, should you evacuate your home with your pets.
If disaster strikes, but you have a plan and are ready, you will fare better than if you are completely unprepared. With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected. Hopefully, you will never need to implement your emergency plan, but if you do, you will know what steps to take.