Emergencies can be a scary time for humans and animals alike. While emergencies may be rare, some can lead to the evacuation of your home for periods as short as days to permanent relocation. You may not be able to keep all of your prized possessions safe but keeping your animals safe doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Here are some Emergency Preparedness Tips to keep your pets safe in all situations:
Before an Emergency
Rescue Alert Sticker
These stickers will allow rescue workers to know that there are pets inside your home. Place your sticker where it would be visible to rescuers (like a front window or door). Make sure to have the number of pets in your home and Vet information. If possible after you evacuate with your pets write EVACUATED onto the sticker. To order one for your home visit the website for the ASPCA or a local pet store.
Choose an Emergency Destination
Do not leave your pets behind in an emergency, if a location isn’t safe for you it is not safe for your pet.
- Investigate which possible shelters may take pets
- Ask nearby family or friends if they would be able to take your pets in
- Keep a mental list of local hotels and motels that would accept pets
Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
If there is an impending emergency always listen to the recommendations of state and local officials. Even if you think you will only be gone from home for a day or two, assume the worst and prepare for a couple weeks.
During an Emergency
The following are the recommendations provided by the ASPCA
To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months for freshness)
Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
Litter or paper toweling
Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember: food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
At least 7 days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)