Disaster Preparedness for Pets
Our responsibility for our pets includes being well prepared in case of emergencies. Here are some basic things to do before a disaster strikes:
GET A FREE RESCUE ALERT STICKER FROM THE ASPCA
The ASPCA recommends using a rescue sticker alert to let rescue personnel know that there are pets in your home.Send away for this sticker and place it on a window to alert rescue workers that there are pets inside. CLICK HERE to get your free "ANIMALS INSIDE!" sticker from the ASPCA. If you evacuate with your pets, write "EVACUATED" across the sticker so rescue workers don't waste time looking for them.
ID YOUR PET
Make sure your pets are all current wearing collars and tags that contain all pertinent information. We highly recommend microchipping your pet – contact us to get your pet microchipped.
PUT TOGETHER YOUR DISASTER KIT
Have an emergency bag ready and make sure everyone in the family knows where it is. A basic disaster kit includes: food and water for at least 5 days for each pet (a gallon per person per day) and food bowls; medications and medical records (in a waterproof container); a first-aid kit for humans and pets; cat litter box, litter, scoop and garbage bags; sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers; blankets and towels for bedding and warmth; a current photo of each pet and descriptions should you get separated; written information about your pets' feeding schedules, habits, behavior quirks – in case you need to board your pets or place them in temporary care.
IF YOU EVACUATE, TAKE YOUR PET
If it's not safe for you to stay behind, it's not safe for your pet either. If at all possible, evacuate early. Evacuation before conditions become severe will help make the process less stressful. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels and motels. Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter your pets in an emergency (include 24-hour phone numbers).
IF YOU CHOOSE TO STAY AT HOME, DO IT SAFELY
If you've decided to wait out a storm, make sure to close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened animals may hide. Move dangerous items like tools and toxic products outside of your living area. If possible, find a "safe room" and store your disaster kit there. Close all windows and stay inside and listen to the radio for local emergency management personnel directions.
CHOOSE A DESIGNATED CAREGIVER
Give this one some thought. Find a trusted neighbor who will care for your pets should you be unable to get home in case of an emergency. Make sure that this designated caregiver is comfortable in the role you've given them. Let that caregiver know where your disaster kit is and give them a key so they can enter your home.You should also consider who would be a permanent caregiver should something happen to you. Be sure to discuss this designation with your assigned permanent caregiver to make sure they understand the responsibility you have given them.