Planning for Pets
Our pets completely depend on us for their care and safety. It’s important to prepare them along with your families. Create or update your pet emergency kit today, to reduce stress in evacuations. If you have a plan in place for you and your pets, you will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry when you need to make a decision during an emergency. If local officials ask you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too. If you leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured or worse.
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Here are steps you can take to prepare to care for your pets in an emergency.
First, assemble an animal emergency supply kit with food, medicine, treats, sanitation supplies, toys, and other equipment
Create “go bags” for your pets and store them in each vehicle.
Plan to take your pets with you if you must evacuate. If you leave, you may not be allowed to return home for days and your pets will not be able to fend for themselves.
Consider including stress-relieving items in your emergency kit such as calming collars and their favorite toys.
Make prior arrangements to ensure your pet has a safe place to stay. Research “pet friendly” hotels and motels and ask if your pet would qualify to stay (especially if you have multiple pets). Most evacuation shelters will not accept pets, except for service animals, and animal boarding facilities will fill up fast during disasters.
Make sure people can identify your pet in case of disaster. Your pet should always wear current identification tags, and ask your veterinarian to have your pet microchipped.
Develop a pet care buddy system with neighbors, friends, or family to evacuate your pets as disasters may occur when you aren’t home. Meet at a designated location and make sure they have all your phone numbers.
Tips for Large Animals...
Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
Evacuate animals earlier, whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to a barn or turn them loose outside.
If you have pets such as horses, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster. In addition to the tips above: