Just as humans are urged to be prepared for natural disasters at all times, it is equally important that we remember to prepare for our four-legged family members who cannot fend for themselves in a time of crisis.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Department of Homeland Security want pet owners to be aware of how to properly plan for emergencies for all of your family members.
FEMA and US DHS offer tips for not only dealing with tornado emergencies, but also hurricanes, pandemics, and other natural disasters. The number one tip is to never evacuate your home and leave your pets behind. Because many shelters do not allow pets during a disaster, it’s important to learn the rules before a crisis arrives. Pet owners must always have a “back up plan” in case the rules change!
Additional tips include what to include in a pet emergency supply kit, tips for identification, and other useful information.
To plan for your pets in case of natural disasters, make a pet emergency kit.
Generally your Pets Emergency Preparedness Kit (Disaster Kit) should include:
- Food and Water: at least a 3 day supply
- A copy of your pets veterinary records and any medicine/supplements Fido or Fluffy needs
- Collar and/or a harness with up to date ID tags, a leash
- Vaccination records with a current rabies tag
- Pet carrier with blankets and familiar toys and treats to help reduce stress
- Litter box with the litter for cats
- Plastic trash bags
- Photo of you and your pets just in case you become separated
- A bottle of bleach for sanitation
- A Pet First Aid Kit with the basics