Every time a major disaster strikes our pets are at risk. We’ve seen it with wildfires, flooding, tornadoes and earthquakes. Many of us have seen the heartache of pets separated from their families during times of crisis. Often because of a lack of identification either through a collar tag, microchip or even a family photograph, pets end up in shelters or are euthanized. With just a little bit of planning you can protect your family including your pets.
The month of June is set aside each year to remind us to include our pets in our preparedness planning. FEMA has a number of suggestions. One of the most important is making sure your pet can be easily identified. Microchipping is certainly an option, but a collar and tag can work just as well. Don’t forget to include a picture of you and your pet in your documents ziplock bag. You might need it after the crisis to verify that you and your pet belong together.
At a minimum your “go kit” should include:
- Water – One gallon per day for a minimum of 3 days
- Food – Enough for 3 days stored in a waterproof container
- Medicines – Pack your pet’s medicines in a ziplock bag
- Vaccination records – Include copies of any vaccination records in a waterproof container
- Photos of your pet
- Pet first aid kit
- Collar or harness and leash.
- Pet carrier
- Cleaning supplies such as newspapers, paper towels, litter, trash bags and bleach solution
As part of your personal disaster plan you should have an evacuation route mapped out. Try to find out ahead of time if the hotel/motel or shelter will allow pets.
You know how stressful a disaster can be. Imagine what it must be like for your pets. Help them by having a plan and practicing that plan.
More detailed information is available at Ready.gov.