Pet Preparedness: 5 steps to prepare for disaster
Disasters can happen anytime and can take on many forms. Some are man-made, while others are natural. In the event of a disaster, it is important that pet parents have plans in place to take care of themselves and their pet family members. Here are five steps that will help you be prepared for a disaster.
Understand the potential – Do you live near an airport, train track or propane supply company. All of these have the potential for man-made disasters (plane crash, chemical leak, propane explosion). Are you in an area that is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados, or floods? Understanding the potential disasters will help you be prepared.
Create a disaster plan – Once you understand the potential disasters, you can make a plan. Nobody is 100% prepared for all disasters but having a plan for the ones you think are most likely to occur, can help you and your pets survive.
Pet identification – Most people have their pets micro-chipped (and you should) but that only helps if they are lost and found by animal care professionals. It’s a good idea to have them wear a tag with their name, your name, and a best contact phone number.
Create an emergency kit – Have one in your home and one “go-bag” in your car should you have to leave. In addition to items for you, have pet health records, a first aid kit, food and water bowls, cat litter and a litter box, and at least a five-day supply of food and water.
Communicate your plan – Make sure to communicate your plan to those who help care for your pets. Your pet sitter, veterinarian, neighbors, and family members are all good people to share your plan with should you need help caring for your pet should you be away from home when a disaster happens.
There are many great resources available to help you be prepared for the next disaster. Here are just a few that I recommend:
FEMA courses: Animal in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness & Community Planning
Ready.gov: Prepare Your Pets for Disaster
If you have any disaster preparedness tips you'd like to share, please share in the comments below.