An emergency can happen anywhere changing our lives in an instant. Thousands of pet owners have lost their faithful friends due to storms, fires, and floods or man-made disasters. A majority of pet owners are unprepared for a possible emergency according to a recent survey. More than 90 percent of the pet owners in a Banfield Pet Hospital survey say they are not ready for a disaster.
Simple steps can be taken to reduce the number of pets that die or get lost or separated from their owners during times of emergency.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
If you must evacuate your home, is important NOT TO LEAVE PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
If you are heading to a public shelter in an emergency, animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
A good preparedness kit includes enough of your companion animal’s regular food, medications, first aid supplies, and an appropriately sized carrier. It is also recommended to have updated pet photos, immunizations records, and multiple contact numbers in the kit. You can buy a prepared kit or assemble one in a designated bag.
Items for a pet preparedness kit:
Food (your pet’s regular food)
Leash and collar
Photo of your pet/ID and a photo of you with your pet
Medications your pet needs
Immunization/vet records (keep both updated)
Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, out-of-town friends/family
Current ID tags and updated microchip for your pet are very important.
Knowing CPR for pets is also a good way to be prepared. The Red Cross offers classes in pet CPR. The Red Cross also offers a first-aid app for everyday emergencies. The app has videos and simple step-by-step advice on pet first-aid. To find it text “GETPET” to 90999 or search “Red Cross Pets” in the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace.