Think about this. When a tornado is bearing down on your community, how much time will you have to get the kids, yourself and your pets into a safe shelter? And, how will your pets behave when the winds are howling, your home is creaking and the roof is blowing off? What about flooding? How quickly can you evacuate your family and your pets? How will you transport your pets?
When disaster strikes what are you going to do for your pets, and most importantly with your pets? Where will they stay? Do you have food, water, bowls, medications, identification, collar, leash, portable crate/pet carrier, medical history, vaccination records and sanitation needs (poop bags, litter box) and familiar toys?
Have you included them in your families emergency escape plan? Does your home have an Animal Rescue Alert sticker by the main entry door? How about a photo of you and your pet together for easy identification and proof of ownership? And speaking of ownership, are your pets micro chipped?
Now is the time to put together this information before you need it in an emergency. Have you thought about gathering up the information you will need about each pet and turning the documents into PDF files that you can store on your smart phone and/or in cloud storage accessible from anywhere? Many word processing programs can automatically turn a document you create into a PDF file or you can scan vaccination records into a PDF document. I know that I can load and store PDF files in the iBooks app and access them on an iPhone, iPad or Mac.
Paper copies of your pet’s information should be stored in waterproof containers or clear plastic zipper type bag. Maybe you can keep extra copies in your vehicles glove box.
Check now with family and friends for who can temporally house your pets in case of an emergency or disaster. What about hotels, motels and other housing? Now is the time to find out who will accept pets and any fees associated.
Prepare a “go bag” for your pets using an inexpensive duffel bag with extra supplies already inside and label it as the “pet evacuation bag” and store it in an easy to find location. Do you have a Pet First Aid Kit and Pet First Aid Book?
6 Steps from the ASPCA -
• Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
• Arrange a Safe Haven
• Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
• Choose “Designated Caregivers”
• Evacuation Preparation
• Geographic and Climatic Considerations
Special Considerations for Birds, Reptiles and Small Animals
Rather than redo information and checklists already prepared by others, here are some links to organizations that have prepared printable documents and PDfs to assist you. All of the suggestions made above can be read about in detail by using the links below.
Disaster Supplies for Dogs from Red Rover
American Red Cross
Ready.gov – Caring for Animals
Ready.gov – PDF list