As the coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately taught us over the past year, disaster can strike at any time. Luckily, there are proactive steps pet parents can take to keep their furry family members safe.
Since June is National Pet Preparedness Month, it’s the perfect time to share a few tips on how pet owners can get ready for an emergency.
1. Make a plan—and practice it.
The best way to avoid panic—or worse, having to leave your pets behind—during an emergency is to have a plan in place. That means knowing the all the potential exits of your home; having a designated place where you keep your pet at night; and a safe destination in mind (friend’s home, pet-friendly hotel, etc.). Also, be sure to practice your plan with your family regularly.
2. Create a buddy system.
You should also have a backup plan in place in case you and your family are away from your home when disaster strikes. Designate a relative, friend or neighbor who can care for your pet if you’re unable to do so.
3. Pack an emergency kit.
Ideally, you should have two emergency kits ready – one for sheltering in place and one for evacuating. Ready.gov recommends including the following:
• Pet food stored in airtight, waterproof containers
• Water and a water bowl
• Medicine your pet takes on a regular basis
• Pet first-aid kit (consult your veterinarian regarding supplies)
• Collar with an ID tag, harness and/or leash
• Travel carrier, bag or crate
• Grooming and sanitation supplies
• Documentation of ownership, medical needs, vaccinations, etc.
• Toys, treats and/or bedding
4. Listen to local experts
Don’t hesitate to heed alerts and advisories from state and local public safety officials whenever they say to shelter in place or evacuate. And be sure to talk to your veterinarian at your next appointment about disaster preparedness.