Do you know what to do for your pet to make sure it is cared for before, during and perhaps even after a disaster? Here are some guidelines to help you.
- If you must evacuate, don’t leave your pet behind even for a few hours. Plan ahead and make a list of hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that will accept pets. Ask if there are any restrictions and if they waive a no-pet policy in the event of a disaster. Check with friends and relatives who would be able to shelter you and your animals or just your animals. Make a list of boarding facilities or veterinary offices where you could shelter your animals. Include 24-hour telephone numbers. As a last resort, ask your local shelter if it provides foster care or shelters pets in case of an emergency.
- Make sure your pet has current I.D. tags on its collar. Many animals lost during disasters are never returned to their owners again because they are not wearing proper tags. You should have a rabies tag and a city registration tag as well as a name tag with a phone number of a friend or relative who lives out of your immediate area. Having a pet microchipped is even better because it cannot slip off like a collar.
- Make sure you keep a copy of your pet’s vaccination records in case you have to board your pet or leave the state. Keep a photo of your pets handy in case you need it to help others identify them if you become separated. Keep pet supplies, like food, water, medications, a leash and a portable carrier on hand.
- Have an emergency I.D. card ready with your pets info.
Disaster Supply Check List
Stock up on non-perishables ahead of time and add perishables at the last minute. Have everything ready to go. Keep the items in a sturdy container that can be transported easily. Your disaster kit should include:
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit. A pet first aid book is also good.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers to transport pets safely and to make sure they cannot escape. You may need to include towels or a blanket for bedding and warmth.
- Food and water for at least three days, bowls, cat litter and litter box, and a manual can opener. Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior problems with the name and number of your veterinarian.
- Current photos and descriptions of your pet.
- Pet beds and toys that will help reduce stress.