How to Ensure Pet Safety During Natural Disasters
Hurricane Florence has just gone away. Today we’d like to share something about disaster preparedness–with pets.
Imagine. When you see parents abandon their 3-month-old baby in a house caught in fire, what comes to your mind? When you witness a man leave his elder mother behind in an earthquake, how will you react? When you see a pet owner locks his pet at home on the line of an approaching hurricane, what’s in your mind?
Hardship can test a relationship. Some choose to sustain their relationship with pet, while some cut it up. What’s your choice in front of Hurricane Florence? Luckily, this time, pets are not the ignored. More and more people see pets as their family members and include pet safety into their disaster preparedness plan!
This is a fantastic goodness! Making a natural disaster preparedness plan, however, requires much consideration, which is no easy for lacking experience pet owners. Today we’d like to share with you some suggestions on how to handle natural disasters WITH dear pets!
Before the disaster
Make a plan. Familiarize yourselves of every possible natural disasters in your area and make plans for every possible situation. The CDC has a detailed list on what you should prepare in advance. Purchase a sturdy carrier for each of your pets. Get your pet microchipped. Consider which route you will take and where you will move to.
Prepare a pet disaster kit. What should be included in this emergency kit? Consider the basic needs of your pets. First, food and water. According to the advice of the North Carolina department of Public Safety, prepare enough canned/dry food for 3 to 7 days and enough water for 3 to 7 days. Muzzle, collar and leash are definitely needed. The collar should be attached a rabies vaccination tag and an ID tag that includes your cell phone number. Don’t forget relevant prescriptions and paperwork! The CDC suggests pet owners bring photocopied veterinary records, registration information, recent photos of your pet, contact information for you and friends or relatives, boarding instructions(such as known allergies, behavior problems, feeding schedule, etc.) and microchip information.
Practice disaster evacuation. If you have a car, prepare necessary tools for your pet safety in a car trip(carriers, harnesses, pet seat belts). Familiarize your pet with riding in car. If you don’t have, then contact local government to learn about transportation available during a disaster. Also, you can make arrangements with neighbors, family, and friends who have one.
If you have to leave pet at home
Don’t abandon them. Abandonment is easy to be done, whereas the profound influence on pets can last their whole lives. Find a local shelter or keep them home.
Don’t lock them in a room or crate nor tie them up. With the natural instinct for danger, they need an easy access to get out of the house for a higher and safe place during or before the disaster. Also, write a note on your door to remind the rescue group that there is a pet inside!
If you stay at home with it
Find a safe and comfy room for the pet. Select a safe room, preferably an interior room with no or few windows. Remove toxic chemicals or plants. Close off small areas where frightened pets might get stuck (such as the space beneath heavy furniture).
Enough food and water for you and your pet. Keep an close eye on the recent news on the disaster. Medications you or pets recently take should also be prepared.
During mandatory evacuation
Find a nearby pet-friendly place. Wallethub ranking of pet-friendly cities serves as a reference for you to find a pet friendly place near your city. Besides, it is to hotel host to accept or deny animal guests unless they are certified service animals. So contact with the proprietor in advance. Many other choices are available, too. You can contact local veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and local animal shelters. You can live in the house of family or friends outside the affected area. There are also several website where you can easily find pet-friendly hotels(such as bringfido.com).
If your pet gets lost, apply these useful tips: If you are in a shelter that houses pets, inform one of the pet caretakers. Give the pet caretaker your pre-made missing pet handout; Once you have been cleared to leave the shelter and return home, contact animal control about your lost pet; Last, call the microchip company to make sure all the information about you and your pet is updated and current.
Source: CNN, CDC, Ready NC Feature Picture Credit: CNN
What’s your story with pet during Hurricane Florence? Share with us!