Do you have a plan in place for your pet in case of an emergency or natural disasters? More than half of U.S. homes have an emergency evacuation kit but don’t have an emergency evacuation plan in place for their pet. Unfortunately, thousands of pets end up as casualties when a natural disaster occurs because they aren’t prepared. Don’t let this be you! You may not know exactly when a natural disaster will occur, but being prepared just in case will make a huge difference. June is National Pet Preparedness month so let’s plan, prepare, and make sure others also know how to get their pet prepared too!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Purina. I received compensation for this post, but all thoughts are those of ComeWagAlong.com. We always share things that we find beneficial to our readers and things that Simba and I love.
6 Ways to Prepare for Emergency Evacuation with Your Pet
Purina hosted a YouTube Live with Dr. Kurt Venator to discuss the different ways that pet owners can prepare their pets and household for potential emergencies and natural disasters. The discussion was great and I learned a lot of information to make sure my pet and I are prepared in case of an emergency. Thanks to Purina for the wonderful discussion on pet preparedness! How can you prepare your pet for a natural disaster? There are several different ways to make sure you and your pet are prepared so keep reading to find out the top things I learned from the discussion.
Be Familiar with Types of Natural Disasters in Your Area
It’s best to be prepared for all types of natural disasters if possible. Pet owners should especially focus on the common types of natural disasters in the area that they reside in. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding are common types of natural disasters here in North Carolina. According to Dr. Kurt Venator, if you live in a region where hurricanes are common, it’s important to understand the elevation level of your property and whether it is prone to floods. Knowing this will be helpful if a hurricane does hit so you can prepare a plan in advance for your pet. If you don’t know what types of natural disasters are common in your area do a quick Google search and you will know exactly what to prepare your pet for.
Understand Your Pet’s Behavior
You need to understand your pet’s behavior so that you can prepare in advance for how your pet may act in an emergency. Cats and dogs have unique behavior and respond differently to environmental triggers. If we were to generalize, pets become anxious during an emergency and they can sense when humans feel the same way. If a window breaks or there are loud noises and high winds a pet will most likely bolt and hide in a safe place. This kind of behavior is not ideal if you’re trying to evacuate. Understanding how your pet will react during an emergency is super important. If you know that your dog is scared of thunderstorms or loud noises then you can prepare in advance. For example, use a pet carrier or a leash with a harness for more control and to prevent your pet from bolting.
Prepare Your Home and Pet
The most important way to prepare your pet for an emergency or natural disaster is to make sure your pet is wearing a securely fastened collar with identification that is up to date. This is extremely important in case you become separated from each other during a natural disaster. To be even more prepared you can microchip your pet so that he can be identified via an electronic device. Microchipping increases the chance of pets being found. The process doesn’t take long at all, doesn’t hurt, and it can’t fall out.
You can prepare your home with waterproof “Pet Inside stickers” that you can get from the vet. These stickers can be placed on the front and back doors of your home to alert rescue workers that you have a pet inside your home. If your area is prone to hurricanes like ours you would want to cover all of your windows. Cover your windows with permanent storm shutters or marine plywood. Make sure to keep your pet away from the windows during a hurricane.
Disaster Preparedness Kit
The basic pet essentials that your pet disaster kit should include for emergency evacuation are the following:
- Bottled water
- Cans of wet food
- Collapsible water and food bowls
- Cat litter and pan
- Leash and collar with proper ID
- Photos of your pet
- Important paperwork (vaccine records/medical history, veterinary contact information, medications list, and emergency contacts)
- Basic pet first-aid kit
An extra item to include would be a dog life jacket. Hurricanes cause flooding and dogs can get tired quickly from having to tread through water or swim. Pet booties are another good thing to include because these can protect your pet from foreign objects on the ground or hot pavement.
Create an Evacuation Plan
Do your research and create an emergency evacuation plan! Do your homework ahead of time to understand where you can go with your pet. Speak to your vet for more information on exactly where you can take your pets if you have to evacuate. Call pet-friendly hotels in your immediate area and outside of your area and have those numbers identified early. Always keep your pet’s medical records in a safe place because this information is vital since some pet-friendly emergency relief centers require proof of vaccinations in order for your pet to stay there.
Have a Buddy System in Place
What if you’re not home when a natural disaster strikes and your pet is home alone? If you’re in an area prone to natural disasters, you should have a buddy system set up so you can call someone. Don’t know who to add to your buddy system? Some examples to include in your buddy system are family, friends, neighbors, dog sitters, and dog walkers. The perfect people to be in your buddy system are those that can get in your house and knows your pet. Your pet’s energy and nervousness may be high. So if your pet knows the person it will make the transition and escape much more smooth.
Add someone from your buddy system to your vet’s emergency contact list of people who have the authority to approve necessary emergency treatments if you can’t be reached. You should also discuss where your pet’s disaster kit is stored in case of an emergency and where to meet. It’s also a good idea to identify places where you can leave your pet while you are out of town to avoid leaving your pet alone.