Protecting Your Pets During a Disaster
At the beginning of hurricane season, we mentioned some resources to help prepare for the worst but in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situation, it’s also important to have an emergency plan in place for pets!
The American Red Cross recommends taking the following steps to ensure pet safety during a disaster:
Keep your pet’s essential supplies in sturdy containers that can be easily accessed and carried (a duffle bag or covered trash containers, for example). Your pet emergency preparedness kit should include:
• Medications and medical records (stored in a waterproof container) and a First Aid kit.
• Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.
• Current photos of your pets in case they get lost.
• Food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener.
• Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
• Pet bed or toys if easily transportable.
It’s also important to remember that should the need to evacuate arise, plan to take your pet with you or board them somewhere safe. Be sure to become familiar with nearby evacuation shelters that allow you to bring animals and be aware of the health risks involved when sheltering somewhere that allows a large number of animals and people in one location (See link to CDC’s Animals in Public Evacuation Centers).
For more information and resources:
American Red Cross – Plan and Prepare – Pets: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/pets
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Emergency Preparedness and Response – Animals in Public Evacuation Centers: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/animalspubevac.asp
Ready.gov – Make a Plan – Caring for Animals: http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals
Disaster Information Management Resource Center – Disasters – Animals in Disasters: http://disaster.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/animals.html