How to Keep Pets Safe During Emergencies
Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions – natural disasters can happen any time and anywhere. And it’s not just humans who need to be ready for the worst; pets, too, need to be kept safe.
Retailers are already a source of expertise and advice for pet parents. So, in honor of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day on May 12th, here are a few tips retailers can help promote to keep customers informed year-round.
1. Create an evacuation plan
While you never know when an emergency will occur, you can know how you’ll react. First, arrange a safe place for your pets to stay if you need to evacuate. If it’s too dangerous for you, it’s too dangerous for a pet. Not all shelters accept pets (most American Red Cross shelters can’t), so it’s crucial to plan ahead for shelter.
Research hotels along your evacuation route to find out about their pet policies and ask if it would be waived for an emergency. You should also prepare a list of potential caregivers (friends, relatives, neighbors, veterinarians) who can take in your pet.
2. Ensure your pets are identifiable
In the event you’re separated from your pets during an emergency, make sure they’re always wearing up-to-date identification and that their vaccinations are current. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped to increase the likelihood of a reunion.
3. Get a rescue alert sticker
The ASPCA offers a free, easy-to-use sticker to let others know rescue workers know your pets are inside if you’re unable to evacuate them. It includes key information, such as the type and number of pets and your veterinarian’s contact information.
4. Prepare an emergency kit
To ensure you’re able to leave your home at a moment’s notice, have an emergency kit on hand with everything your whole family (including your pet) needs for at least a few days. Here are a few key items to include:
• Pet first-aid kit
• Your pet’s medical and vaccination records
• Three to seven days’ worth of canned or dry food
• Disposable trash bags
• Pet food and water bowls
• Plenty of bottle water (at least seven days’ worth)
• A travel carrier or crate for each pet
• A recent photo of each pet
• For cats: disposable litter trays and litter