Definitely, Yes, Absolutely, 100%: The Importance of a Pet Disaster Plan
Our geographical location is arguably one of the safest with regard to natural disasters, but that doesn’t mean catastrophe can’t strike at home. People have to leave their homes for all sorts of reasons, such as house fires, tornadoes and high winds, floods, water line damage, insect infestation, and more. These events can happen to anyone, which is why it’s vital to have a pet disaster plan. Are you ready?
Plug In. Recharge.
Before we go into detail about what your pet disaster plan should involve, we’d like to remind owners of pets to test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the house. Change batteries and/or replace the entire device if needed (usually after 10 years or so).
Some pet owners practice setting off the alarms as a training exercise. That way, their pets know how to act when alarms go off, such as exit through a pet door to your fenced-in yard. If that option isn’t available to you, you could train your pet to go to the safest spot in the house or their crate.
- Check the dates on the fire extinguisher and brush up on how to use them properly
- Remove wires off the floor that pets can chew on
- Only use candles when you are at home, awake, and can see them the entire time
- Do not use an electrical heating blanket for your pet’s bed
We recommend applying the ASPCA Emergency Stickers to your front and back doors and/or windows. These indicate to emergency personnel that your pets are inside so they can be rescued in the case of fire or other emergency.
Plan the possible ways out of your house in an emergency. Help your pets get to the safest escape route possible. While it’s vital for you and your family to get out, you should call out for your pet to follow you on the floor (to escape smoke) to the nearest exit.
Once you’re out, do not go back in; wait for first responders to find your pet. Sometimes, the animals are the first ones outside, which increases the importance of updating your pet’s microchip and ID tags. This can increase your chances of being reunited after a disaster.
Establishing a Pet Disaster Plan
If you are ever evacuated, know where you and your pet can go to wait out the emergency. Research area hotels or motels that are known to be pet friendly ahead of time; ask others if they would waive their no pets policy in the wake of an emergency.
Keep your pet’s medical records handy, including vaccination records and proof of parasite prevention. Affixing a photograph of your pet to their crate is also enormously helpful.
Acquiring the Right Stuff
Aside from your pet’s crate or travel kennel, it’s wise to collect the following items for your pet disaster plan:
- Week supply of food and water (mark expiration dates on your calendar and replace as needed)
- Waste bags
- Litter tray
- Puppy pads
- Medications (again, replace when expiration date comes due)
- Copy of prescriptions
- Important phone numbers
If we can assist you with any questions or concerns, please let our staff know. We’re always here for you!