Emergency Preparation Tips for Pet Owners

Emergency Preparation Tips for Pet Owners

Your English Bulldog Rocky and Persian cat Chloe are adored and treated like members of your household. But have you considered how you would protect them if disaster struck, such as a fire, flooding, earthquake, or hurricane? So how can you prepare for worst-case scenarios and protect your beloved pets? It is important to put together a preparedness plan for your pets at the same time that you create one for your family.

Many experts suggest that cats or dogs wear collars with identification that is up to date and visible at all times. The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification, in particular since many indoor cats do not wear collars. Implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, a microchip can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.

The Humane Society Check-Off List

  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls, and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. While people need at least one gallon of water a day, most pets don’t need nearly as much. However, keeping an extra gallon on hand is useful in case your pet has been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
  • Medications, medical records, and a pet first aid book stored in a waterproof container.
  • Cat litter box, litter, litter scoop, and garbage bags to collect all of your pets’ waste.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that they cannot escape. Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. (Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time.) Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside to accommodate smaller pets—who may also need blankets or towels for bedding and warmth. Don’t forget to include a few pet toys.
  • Current photos of you with your pets and descriptions of them to help with identification in case you and your pets become separated—and for proof of ownership once you are reunited.
  • Written information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.

In addition, it is a good idea to have a designated caregiver who has access to your house in case an emergency prevents you from returning home. It is also imperative that you know ahead of time where you will bring your pet if you need to evacuate your residence. This may be a local animal shelter, boarding kennel, a nearby hotel that allows pets, or a trusted friend or family member.

Never forget that if a place is not safe for humans, it is not safe for pets. Create a plan today to protect your entire family, including your furry best friends.


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