Emergency preparedness for pets
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today.
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.
As you are making a portable disaster supply kit for you and your family, also prepare a kit for your pet. Keep these items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily.
- Proper identification, including immunization records, and current photos
- Ample supply of food and water
- A carrier or cage, pet beds and toys
- Medications, veterinary records and a first aid kit
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape.
- Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets.
If you must evacuate, take your pets with you. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.