Do you have a plan and emergency preparedness supplies for your pet?
Pets from Houston, TX and its surrounding areas displaced from Hurricane Harvey are still arriving in Pennsylvania for fostering and adoption. And as this is written, Florida is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irma in a few days. So now is a good time to revisit the topic of having an emergency preparedness plan and supplies at the ready for your pet.
Some emergencies don’t all look like the aftermath of a hurricane; situations can range from unexpectedly having to be away from home for a few days, an extended power outage to a medical emergency or financial misfortune.
Having an emergency preparedness plan for your pet’s care could make a stressful situation a bit easier.
The ASPCA offers great information on creating an emergency preparedness plan and kit. Here’s an overview (click on ASPCA Tips for Disaster Preparedness to see the full article):
- Designated Caregiver
Whether you are identifying a temporary or permanent caregiver for your pet, you need to select a pet care facility or person that is equipped to provide for your pet in an emergency. It’s a good idea to have care instructions prepared in advance.
- Emergency Preparedness Supplies
Start by creating a basic pet first aid kit, including an extra harness and leash, and then add essential items for travel and time away from home:
- pet carrier and blanket
- portable food/water dish
- wet/dry food and bottled water for at least a week (watch expiration dates and refresh supplies as needed)
- disposable litter, tray and garbage bags
- photo of pet(s) and care instructions including contact info for veterinarian
- names of any supplements and prescriptions for any medications your pet takes
Create an Evacuation Plan & Choose a Safe Haven
Whatever the emergency, you should prepare a detailed plan for safely leaving your home or evacuating an area quickly before the emergency happens. Choose a meeting place—like a designated shelter, personal home or landmark—and a form of communication with family, friends or neighbors including a phone number and social media platform. If pets are not allowed where you must go, call ahead to make arrangements with a pet lodging facility located in a safe area.
“Be sure your pet is current with a wellness visit and essential vaccinations as part of your emergency planning. This will ensure your pet, and the pets of others, are protected from highly infectious diseases in the event staying at a pet facility or caregiver home is necessary,” added Dr. Laura Weis, co-owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital and Holiday House Pet Resort in Doylestown, PA.
Keep your pet’s first aid or emergency preparedness supplies in an easy-to-reach-place, like near an exit or in your vehicle. Finally, practice makes perfect—hold fire and emergency drills to rehearse your action plan.