Preparing Pets for a Disaster
Whether you are preparing for a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, or other natural disaster the basics are the same…for humans and pets. We need the essentials of shelter, food and water to survive. There needs to be a plan in place before you face this situation. You can do one of two things: shelter in place or evacuate.
Shelter in place: In this situation it’s imperative to let someone know you will be remaining. Have crates for your pets as they will be scared. Make sure there is enough food and water for ideally three weeks. It used to be three days that was recommended but in some of the more recent disasters it has become obvious that individuals may be on their own for a long time. Generators will allow you to cook, boil water and create heat or cooling depending on the situation. Additional information can be found at the following links for preparation:
Evacuation: Make sure you have a pet-friendly place to go. That could be friends or family, a hotel, or a pet-friendly emergency shelter. If you can’t take your animals, make sure that there is someone you trust prepared to watch them or a boarding facility.
Regardless of what you decide to do, you will need some basic things with your pets. Identification, vaccine records, medications, food and water. Identification can be in the form of marked collars, tags with your name/address/phone, or microchips. There are even GPS tags now that can be purchased for your pet and tracked on your smart phone! It would be best to have several forms of identification. Collars and tags are most easily read and might quickly return your pet; however, they can be lost or removed. Microchips and tattoos are permanent means of identification that cannot be altered. They are registered in a database and in power outages may result in slower recovery of information but should reunite you with your beloved family member.
Proof of vaccination is important to keep on hand so that you won’t have to revaccinate and can show proper care in the event there is an incident, such as your pet fear biting someone in a scary situation. Medications to last through the projected duration of the event are important, some moreso than others. Plan ahead. Food and water is imperative and it’s less stressful and easier on your pets if they can maintain the same diet throughout the event. Changing food can result in gastrointestinal problems, distress, and diarrhea.
Additional information on preparing your pets for disasters can be found at these links:
Pet Friendly Accommodations: