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In Case Of Emergency: An Emergency Preparedness Plan for Pet Owners

By Monty C. Charne
August 30, 2017

LeashHave you thought of how you’d care for your pet in case of a flood? A fire? How about a home invasion? Most of us don’t spend out lives thinking about worst-case scenarios, but hoping for the best is not enough to ensure the safety of our family, furry friends included. So what can you do to prepare you and your pet in case of a disaster? With a few simple precautions, you can make sure you all live to cuddle another day.

Always have supplies ready

Many of us only keep enough dog food or medication to last for a few days. In the event of an emergency, you will need food, medicine, and any other supplies at the ready. Pack yourself a backup kit of food, medication, and supplies such as cat litter, leashes, and pet carriers. Makes sure you have enough to last at least two weeks. Also include a picture of you with your pets and instructions for care on the off chance you are separated. This is your emergency kit. Make sure it is stocked at all times, and replace any perishable items, such as food and medication, every few months.

ID and chip your furry friend

Some emergencies are chaotic and can lead to your and your pet becoming separated. Make sure that you have a collar and waterproof tag on your pet with your current information visible. In addition, microchip your animal and make sure the chip has your information and the information of your vet programmed in. That way, if your pet does lose its collar and gets collected by a shelter, you will be contacted.

Find a place you can stay

If you are evacuating your house, you MUST take your pet with you. If a space is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet. Make sure you check ahead of time which shelters, hotels, or checkpoints allow your pets. This way you can evacuate early if need be and not be stuck having to leave your pet in an unsafe environment.

Plan and prep for anything

It is great to have all these plans in place, but make sure you have thought every contingency through. What happens if you can’t get home to your pet—is there a neighbor who has your key? What if you’re stuck in your house—are all needed pet supplies in one place so you can bring them into a “safe room”? Don’t just think these contingencies through, practice! Running a drill with your pets will ensure you’re ready to go even when your adrenaline is high.