Even though Hurricane Season 2008 is already underway, it's never too late to get ready for a emergency. We know you have your grab-and-go bag already, but does your pet? If not, here are some ways that you can keep your furry friends safe when disaster strikes.
Make a pet disaster plan
American Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets, though service animals that assist those with disabilities are allowed. This means that you should:
• Plan ahead.
• Know which hotels or motels outside your immediate area accept pets.
• Ask relatives or friends outside the affected area if they would keep your pet(s).
• Keep a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who can shelter animals in an emergency.
• Keep a list of pet-friendly places handy. If you have notice of a disaster, call for reservations.
Have a pet disaster supplies kit
Include medications and medical records, first aid kit, sturdy leash, harness, pet carrier, current photo of pet, food, water, bowls, cat litter pan, can opener, pet bed and toys. Also include your veterinarian's number.
If you receive a disaster warning
• Call ahead to confirm shelter arrangements for you and your pet(s).
• Bring all pets into the house.
• Make sure dogs and cats are wearing secure collars with up-to-date identification.
• If you aren't at home, ask if a neighbor will get your pet(s) and meet you at a prearranged location.
These are just the most basic tips to get you started. The American Red Cross and the Humane Society of the United States have put together some very extensive information that all owners could benefit from, whether they're responsible for a snake, bird or even a farm animal.
• Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared
• Pets: First Aid
• Farm Animals: Preparedness
And this AT post has more excellent links for putting together a pet emergency survival kit.
So have you taken a pet first aid course? Do you have a pet disaster plan? And, most important, have you ever had to put it into action?
Images: Humane Society of Oregon, RedCrossPDX