Just like humans, it is important for pets to be prepared for any and all disasters that come their way. Since they can’t prepare for themselves, it’s up to us to make sure the right steps are taken to keep your pets safe, no matter what may happen!
Unsure what step to take first? There are two very important things you can do as a pet owner to prepare for a disaster:
1) Make a Plan
Choose a Safe Space
Many shelters may not allow pets inside, so it is important to know somewhere your pet can go where they will be cared for and kept safe. This can be asking friends or family if they’d take in your pet, or calling around to local shelters to see what their restrictions are during disasters.
Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
The ASPCA offers a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home. This sticker would be placed in a visible spot so that rescue teams are notified that there is a pet in the home!
If you are aware of emergency weather or a potential disaster in your area, be sure to keep your pets indoors and prepare any necessary items to keep them comfortable while you are inside.
Have your pets microchipped
Having your pet microchipped can help not only in the case of a disaster, but if they get out of the house without you knowing as well. Tons of animals every day are reunited with their families because of microchips!
2) Make a Kit
Food and Water
You never know where you and your pet could end up in the case of a disaster. Having several days supply of both food and water prepared for your pet can help you leave quickly during an evacuation.
First Aid Kit/Medications
Having a pet first aid kit handy not only helps you prepare for a disaster, but also for any injuries your pet may sustain on an average day. If your pet is on any medications, be sure to have them packed and ready as well.
Leashes and Harnesses
Make sure to have leashes and harnesses nearby so you can quickly evacuate your pets if needed.
In the event that you and your pet get separated, having a recent photo on hand can be helpful in tracking them down, just make sure that it is recent!
While you may be thinking of things to pack to keep your pet safe and healthy, don’t forget that they will need some comfort during these times as well. Having bedding and their favorite toys on hand to bring with you will keep them calm during an otherwise stressful situation, and will help not just your pet, but you as well!
While we hope you and your pets never find yourself in a situation where a disaster is occurring, it never hurts to be prepared. For more information on disaster preparedness/other items to pack in your disaster preparedness kit, use the ASPCA website as a resource.