We previously talked about making an emergency plan for your family, but when you have pets there are some extra things you need to do to ensure their safety in the event of a natural disaster. We’ll be taking a look at the steps to take so you are prepared and able to help your pets. If you are in need of home restoration after a disaster, call us at Dynamic Team. We want to help you get back on your feet.
-Rescue Alert Sticker
Placing a sticker either on or near your front door with information about any pets inside your home will alert rescue workers so they are aware of their presence. Be sure you add the name and phone number of your veterinarian in case your pet needs medical assistance or requires a prescription. In the event you do need to evacuate — and it’s safe to do so — write down ‘Evacuated’ on the sticker to notify rescue workers. Most pet supply stores have these stickers available, but you can also order one for free from the ASPCA.
-Arrange an Emergency Shelter
Having a safe haven for your pet in the event of an emergency is incredibly important. Never leave a pet behind. Bear in mind, if the situation isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets either. They could end up trapped or escape the home and end up in an even more dangerous situation. Not all shelters will accept pets, so planning ahead and knowing where your pet can go can save their life.
Ask your vet if they have recommendations for boarding kennels and facilities that you could take your pet to. Contact the local animal shelter to see what their policies are regarding emergency shelter. Look up which hotels or motels outside your immediate area accept pets. Ask friends or family that don’t live right near you if they would be able to look after your pets if an emergency happens.
-Choose a temporary caregiver
This step should not be something you take lightly. When you designate a temporary caregiver, someone that lives near you is often a good choice. It’s also important to choose a caregiver that you are close to, that is at home during the day, and, as you’ll most likely give them a copy of your house keys. This often works out well with neighbors that also have pets, as you can be each other’s designated caregiver.
One of the sad truths of making an emergency plan is you need to consider who will take care of your pets in case something happens to you. When choosing a permanent caregiver, it’s imperative you select someone that has spent a great deal of time with your pet and has successfully cared for pets in the past. Make your expectations clear to this person so they understand the responsibility caring for your pet carries with it.
-Have an Emergency Kit Ready
Just like the rest of your family, your pet has needs that have to be accounted for in case of an evacuation. No matter if you think you’ll only be gone for a day, it’s recommended to plan for your displacement to take more than a week. Follow any evacuation instructions given by local and state officials. To expedite an evacuation, take these steps:
- Ensure all pets have collars with updated ID tags that have their name, your phone number, and any medical information to be accounted for if they are found.
- Microchipping is a permanent form of identification that is also recommended. It is implanted under the skin in an animal’s shoulder area. Microchips can be scanned and read by most animal shelters.
- At the first sign of danger, bring your pet inside. In hectic or dangerous situations, pets can lose sight of where they are and wander away from home.
- Keep your emergency kit and a leash close to an exit in your home for easy access. It’s recommended you include around a week’s worth of food for each pet, disposable litter trays, kitty litter, liquid dish soap and disinfectant, pet feeding dishes and bowls, copies of your pet’s medical records, at least a week’s worth of water for every person and pet, garbage bags and paper towels for clean-up, any extra medication that may be needed, and a sturdy carrier or crate.
Every pet is unique, so you should absolutely take their comfort into consideration when planning for an evacuation. This will be a very stressful time for your animals, so do what you can to help them stay calm. Their safety is important too! If you have gone through a natural disaster or have damage to your home, call Dynamic Team. We are Baton Rouge’s disaster recovery experts. When the world is going crazy, we want to help you get back to normal.