In addition to making the necessary preparations for you and your family, you must also consider what you will do with your pet(s). Making arrangements for your beloved furry friends ahead of time will save you the hassle and heartache of determining how and where to care for them if you must evacuate in an emergency.
Before a Disaster Strikes:
- Generate a list of veterinary care facilities located outside of your immediate area in case your pet needs medical attention.
- Ask friends and relatives living outside of your immediate area to look after your pet if you must evacuate your home.
- Generate a list of pet-friendly hotels outside of your immediate area and keep this information with your emergency supply kit.
When a Disaster Strikes:
- Bring your pets indoors and get them under control.
- Make sure that your pet is wearing a collar with a current rabies vaccination tag and ID tag.
- If you can stay at home in the emergency, go to a safe area and stay together.
- Gather your disaster kit, which should at least include the following for your pet:
- Leashes or harnesses
- Extra food and water
- Pet medication
Establishing a thorough plan for caring for your pets before a disaster strikes is key. If you do not prepare ahead of time, you may have to resort to a public shelter in which animals are generally not allowed. Consequently, you may have to leave your pets at home to fend for themselves. This puts them at risk of starvation, being attacked by predators, drinking contaminated water or being hit by a vehicle. Take similar considerations for your pet that you would for family members and plan ahead!