Ensure Your Pet’s Safety By Checking Your Emergency Preparation For Pets
Animals have no way of preparing for emergencies on their own. But with a little planning & preparation, you can make sure your dogs, cats and any other pets you love are safe.
We may not all have the same kinds of natural disasters or other emergencies, but being prepared for emergencies is still fairly similar.
As with any emergency preparedness plans, they should be adapted for your area, your pet’s needs and customized for your family.
Start your preparations well before the threat of natural disasters arises and you’ll be able to avoid heartbreaking decisions during stressful severe weather or other emergencies.
It’s always a good time to review our emergency preparedness plans and make sure we’re ready to meet the challenges of potential natural disasters.
With all the rain and flooding across the Midwest a couple of years ago, and hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma, our emergency preparation for pets should be reviewed periodically . They should be updated and supplies made ready in case of storms, flooding, tornadoes or hurricanes.
In most communities, emergency shelters don’t allow dogs or cats because of health & safety regulations, although service dogs are allowed. Don’t wait until there is a hurricane or other disaster bearing down on your area to make emergency preparation for your pets.
Image: Riders On The Storm by Lulu Hoeller on Flickr, Commons 2.0
Prepare Your Pets For Hurricane Season
June ushers in family vacations and the end of school for many of us. But in parts of the country, but Hurricane Season too.
Pets depend on us to make sure they’re safe. Make sure to include them when making your emergency disaster preparations. Create a kit with extra pet food, water, ID tags, leashes and a litter box if you have a kitty.
Call around in advance to find pet-friendly hotels or shelters in your area.
The best time for emergency preparations is before you have an emergency or disaster.
Emergency Preparation For Pets Before Disaster Strikes
You should begin your emergency preparedness activities long before hurricane, fire or tornado season even start. Learn what supplies you may need for your pet in case of emergency.
Learning about resources in your community can help you make informed decisions about caring for your pets if an emergency threatens your area.
- Now would be a good time to check with local animal shelters to see whether they provide any type of emergency shelter or foster care for pets during natural disasters. It would be rare to find a local animal shelter that can spare space for pets, but you may learn other valuable information by just contacting them.
- Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians, both locally and in an area you would evacuate to when necessary. Include 24 hour phone numbers and their addresses on your list.
- Ask friends and family outside of your community whether they could shelter your pets for you. If so, include the trip to their location in your evacuation plan.
- Set aside a sturdy container for your pets’ supplies, should you have to evacuate. Keep this container with the rest of your emergency preparedness supplies.
- Include the following supplies for your cats or dogs: carriers, current photos, any medications along with the name & phone number of your veterinarian, license and shot records, sturdy leashes, food and water bowls, their own supply of food and water–and a can opener if applicable. Don’t forget a favorite blanket, pet bed and perhaps 2-3 toys. Familiar items & especially smells can help your pets feel more at ease.
Emergency Preparation For Pets During Hurricane Season
If you’ve followed all the steps for before the hurricane season, your pet’s safety plan should be well along now.
Only a few more things to keep in mind to protect your pet should severe weather threaten.
- Check your pet’s emergency supplies to make sure you have enough food and water for them. Allow for 1 gallon of water per day per pet.
- Don’t let them eat anything they find outside or drink water outside after a storm as they could be contaminated.
- Check on the supply of your pet’s medication & reorder as needed.
- If told to evacuate, try to include a t-shirt you have slept in, in the pet carrier. Being close to your scent should help your dog or cat stay calm during the excitement of leaving and during travel.
- Make sure you have that current photo of your pet.
- Dogs and cats should be able to stand and turn around in their pet carrier. Use this time to make sure your pet will be safe and comfortable in their carrier.
- Make sure your pet has a proper ID tag on their collar. Better yet, have your pet micro-chipped before hurricane season arrives.
- For dogs, you may want to include plastic grocery bags with your supplies to use for picking up poop where ever you’re going.
- Check with motels and hotels to identify “pet friendly” accommodations, should you have to evacuate the area. Be sure to ask if any “no pets” policy is normally relaxed when evacuation orders are issued. Make a list of all pet friendly hotels/motels in your evacuation destination, complete with contact information in case you need it.
Emergency Preparedness: Plan for your Pets
Helpful Resources For Pet Care Before, During & After Hurricanes
How To Include Pets In Your Family Emergency Plan
Hurricane Katrina laid bare the fact that many major cities across the United States are woefully unprepared for widespread natural disasters.
Caring for Animals
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.
Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist
Our pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and wellbeing. The best way to ensure the safety of your family is to be prepared with a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan includes your pets. Being prepared can help save lives.
As Hurricane Season Starts, The HSUS Urges Americans to Include Pets in Plans
With The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other forecasters predicting a fierce hurricane season this June to November, The Humane Society of the United States urges coastal residents to take some simple – but critical – steps to keep their pets safe and healthy in the event of disaster. More than 35 million people, many of them pet owners, live in areas threatened by Atlantic hurricanes.
Sheltering In Place With Your Pets During Hurricanes
While it’s never recommended, there are many people who prefer to shelter in place during a hurricane. If this is the case for you, plans for your pet should be nearly the same as all the above, with the addition of:
- Outside pets should be brought inside during the severe weather before and during a hurricane.
- Prepare a safe room for the pet to be sheltered, such as an inner bathroom on the first floor.
- Provide fresh food and water as needed along with newspapers or a littler box.
- After the hurricane passes, you may wish to place your pet in their carrier to prevent them from running away when you begin to go outside.
- Never allow your pets to eat anything they find outside or to drink puddled water outside, as these may be contaminated.