The start of September kicks off National Preparedness Month! This month reminds us how important it is to prepare for natural disasters or other emergencies in our homes and communities. When you have pets at home, your emergency plans need to include what to do with your pets. Emergencies and natural disasters may require that you take shelter at home or evacuate to a safer location, so you should have a plan in place for both. Often these situations come with little warning, so preparation is key to ensuring the safety and security of loved ones, including your pet. Here are the top five key items to help you plan and prepare for emergencies and natural disasters with your pet.
Pack an emergency kit to have on hand for your pet. This includes:
- First aid kit
- Water and food bowls
- Drinking water and a week’s worth of food
- Any medication your pet needs
- Most recent vaccine documents
- A toy and blanket
- Harness, collar, tags, and leash
Make sure your pet is microchipped and the information on the chip is up to date. Even when you first get your pet, getting a microchip could be the difference between getting him/her home quickly if found. Shelters can scan lost animals to determine their identity so that they are safely returned home. Double check your microchip status to verify that it is registered with accurate information.
Rescue Alert Sticker
Put a rescue alert sticker on your home to let people know there are pets inside your home. Should an accident happen at the home, such as a fire or natural disaster, this will help front line workers know that are pets in your home and identify how many.
Create a Safe Space
If a natural disaster or emergency strikes that requires you to hunker down at home, be sure your safe place includes a space for your dog. Keep your dog leashed in this space so he can’t wander to a more dangerous location.
Pet-Friendly Evacuation Site
Have several options mapped out to go in the event of an evacuation that are pet-friendly. This way you can evacuate with your pet. This may be a list of pet-friendly hotels and lodges, friends, or family. Consider locations close to home and outside your area in the event you need to travel further for safety. Leaving a pet behind makes it likely they will not survive a major disaster.
For additional tips to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters with pets, check out these resources: