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Are You and Your Pets Prepared for Emergencies?

By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views

  Whether you believe in global warming or not (I definitely do), there has been a lot of weather-related disasters lately. Being prepared for an emergency is essential.

Following are tips from Dr. Dan Aja, Director of U.S. Professional and Veterinary Affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, on how to prepare for an emergency. “Because owners have such strong bonds with their pets, we want to encourage pet parents to think about how their pets factor into their evacuation plans,” says Dr. Aja.

Dr. Aja recommends pet owners take the following steps to prepare your pet for an emergency event, including evacuation:
• Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag, with updated contact information.

• Prepare an emergency box of pet supplies that is readily accessible in the event of an evacuation. Emergency kits should include: first aid supplies and guide book; a 3-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.

• Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include veterinarian’s contact information.

• Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area – keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be able to shelter pets. Scout hotels/motels with pet friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and/or your pet.

• If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate if possible for transport and safe-keeping.

• Carry a good picture of your pet with you in the event of separation during evacuation. Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house because pets may hide if they are scared. Finding them quickly will be help you evacuate faster.

Hopefully, you will never have to use these tips.  If you run, work, or volunteer at a shelter, check out Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love Disaster Relief Network by clicking here.

16 comments to Are You and Your Pets Prepared for Emergencies?

  • Really great advice.

  • I think this is a very informative blog and one which is of importance to any pet owner. I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award. Check out my blog for more information.

  • Justin

    Good advice Michele! Thanks!

  • Caren

    I know you discussed this on Facebook, and it is important to state here: get your cats used to being in their carriers. I only took out our carriers when we would go to the veterinarian. My cats associated vet visits with their carrier and would hide each time I took it out. So in the case of an emergency, when you have to act fast, you need to get them used to being in their carriers.

  • Joel

    We live in a hurricane zone, and have pet rescue decals on our windows. It is not only peace of mind, but is a smart thing to do.

  • Mary

    The emergency kits are crucial. So many people prepare for themselves. They need to do this for their pets too. Thank you for stating this.

  • Geoff

    We know all of the hiding places in our house where out cats like to go. Thanks for sharing that tip.

  • Very good post- thank you for sharing. Being prepared is essential as you never know what will happen. Last year we had a Derecho hit our area causing quite a bit of damage. We’ve had a few small ones, but never one like last year. Thankfully, I was prepared.

  • Marcy

    I’m in South Carolina, and we get hurricanes. We know when they are coming. So we are always prepared.

  • Alicia

    We have the decals and are as best prepared as possible. Thanks!

  • Frankie

    I lived at the Jersey Shore, and none of us were prepared for what happened. It was scary and so many pets went missing. Thank you for this advice.

  • Hi Frankie, I hope you and your family are all okay. Hurricane Sandy was too awful for words. Michele

  • Allen, Glad you were too! Michele

  • Robert McCarty

    I live in Kansas, and this is so helpful. Thank you. Great Information!

  • The one other thing I would add to this list is to take a pet first aid class. Otherwise a great list of suggestions – thanks!

  • Thanks Larry, and taking a pet first aid class is a great idea.–Michele