October is National Animal Safety and Protection month. Pet owners and animal lovers everywhere can participate by pet-proofing your home, conducting a health evaluation on your pet and learning how to protect wild animals. There many things you can do to take advantage of this awareness initiative. One thing we recommend is formulating an emergency preparedness plan specifically for your pets. Here’s where to start.
Create a Pet Survival Kit
Every member of your family should have a survival or emergency kit. Like you would do for yourself or your child, make an emergency preparedness kit for your pet including the following items:
• Pet food and can opener
• Medical records
• Windbreaker incase of cold weather
• Plastic bags, newspaper or liter box
• Food dishes
• First aid kit
• Extra leash
Research Safety Shelter Options
It’s a good idea to make a list of pet-friendly places (like certain hotels) you can flee to with your animals. If you were forced to evacuate your home you’d need to know where you could stay that allows pets. Do not leave your pets behind.
If you plan to stay at a place that doesn’t allow pets or even if you want to form a back up plan, research safety shelters for your pet. Contact your local emergency management center or animal control office for more information on boarding centers. These types of places can keep your pet safe if you’re anticipating or experiencing a disaster.
Educate Yourself Ahead of Time
When a disaster strikes, you’re going to need to know what to do. Start by bringing in your pets from outside and having a leash, tags, emergency kit and carrier on hand. Separate your animals even if they typically get along—their animal instincts kick in under this kind of stress. Prepare ahead of time to know where you’re going to seek shelter. Develop a buddy system with your neighbors, family or fiends that will ensure your pet evacuates if you are unable to do it.
When you’re in the middle of a disaster it’s too late to plan. It’s time take actions towards safety. Now is the time to plan and prepare for an emergency situation. Make sure your pets are prepared by gathering items and information that’ll ensure a proper evacuation and safe recovery.