Preparing Pets for Emergencies
Your family is prepared for a disaster, but your family pet? The best way to start is to make a plan. Your pet should have an ID, make sure their name and your information are on their tags. The tags should be securely attached to your pet’s collar and the collar should be fastened securely to your pet. This is also a good time to consider having your pet microchipped. The microchip is important should your pet ever be lost or stolen but can also help if you are separated during a natural disaster. Also, make sure you have a current photo of your pet.
Now that your pet can be identified it is important to make sure you have a kit to take care of all their needs. It is important to have an Emergency Preparedness kit for your family, in the same way it is important to have a Pet Preparedness Kit. Some of the important things to have in the kit are:
Cat Litter/ Pan
Manual Can Opener
First Aid Kit
Secure Pet carrier
Leash or Harness
If you are forced to evacuate your home, it is important to know that not all evacuee shelters will allow you to bring your pets.
If you are asked to evacuate in the state of Alabama, the best thing to do to determine which shelter will allow you and your pet is to call 211.
Also, listen to your local radio and TV stations they will also be broadcasting this information. You may also choose to board your pet during a disaster. Call your veterinarian, the animal shelter in your area and animal control office for the best advice. Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets during times of disaster but this is something you should use as a last resort and get information about prior to a disaster. You could also evacuate to a hotel.
You can find a list of hotels that allow pets all across the country by click here.
Do not leave your pet at home to weather the storm. It is not likely that they will survive and if they do you may not be able to find them when you return. It is also important to create a buddy system with your friends and neighbors in case of an emergency. This back up plan will make sure that someone is able to care for your pets if you are not able to do so yourself.
Protecting Your Pet During a Disaster
If you are at home with your pet during the disaster bring them in immediately. It is important to have plenty of newspaper on hand for sanitary purposes. Since animals have instincts about severe weather changes it is important to move them indoors prior to the storm to reduce the chance that they will run away because of fear. This fear could also lead to anxiety. If you have multiple pets you might want to separate them even if they normally get along, the stress of an emergency situation could cause some pets to behave irrationally.
Protecting Large Animals During Disaster
If you have large animals that live on your property they need to be prepared for disasters as well. Your horses, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs should have identification just like your house pets. Evacuate you animals whenever possible. It is important to map out a primary and secondary evacuation route in advance. When preparing for a disaster or evacuation make sure that you have adequate food and water. Also, make sure that your destination will have veterinary care, should your animal require it and handling equipment. If it is not possible to evacuate with your large animal you as an owner must determine whether to move your animals to shelter or to turn them outside.