Emergency Preparedness: Pet Edition
Although emergencies are spontaneous, we can still have a plan to keep our families safe. Emergency preparedness is an essential part of surviving a disaster. Being prepared prevents panic and keeps you calm in the face of a storm. Our main priority is safety for our family–make sure you haven’t forgotten every member of yours. I’m referring to your pets.
Have you ever seen the news stories following a natural disaster, highlighting all the pets that were left behind as families evacuated? Don’t leave your pets alone and afraid; include them in your emergency plan.
Creating a “safe place” is not enough. They are at risk of being injured and lost, with the possibility of ultimately leading to death. You love your pets. Keep them safe, too.
- What kinds of disasters strike in your area? What events are your preparing for?
- Search for veterinary clinics nearby and make a list. If your pet needs medical attention, you’ll know where to go.
- Know where the pet-friendly hotels are in your area.
- Always keep your pets’ name tags up-to-date with name, address, and contact information. An intense emergency could cause panic and confusion in your pet, leading him/her to run away or get lost. This way, your pet can be returned when found.
- A surefire way to find a lost pet is with a microchip.
- Have a shelter for your pets to travel with you, keeping them secure. Buy a pet carrier for each pet that you have. Label them with the pet’s name and your address. Take your pets for rides in the carrier to get them familiarized with it.
- Have a leash stashed with all other emergency gear.
- If you must evacuate your home, ask friends who are not at risk to care for your pet until it’s safe to return home.
When disaster strikes:
- If you are not required to evacuate, bring all pets indoors.
- Gather your emergency kit, which should include extra food and water and any pet medication/first-aid kits.
- Bring the entire family into the safest room in your home.
- If your pet has severe anxiety, ask your veterinarian about using calming, herbal tinctures with your pet under these circumstances. According to Herbal Natural Pet, many health issues that pets are vulnerable to can be treated using herbal tinctures.
- Bring cleaning supplies for your pets’ basic needs: supply a litter box, and bring plastic bags and wipes for your dogs.
- Make sure you have sanitary wipes/hand-sanitizer to keep your space clean until the disaster is over.
Making a simple plan to prepare yourself in a crisis makes all the difference. You’ll have all the supplies you need ready to go.