When disaster strikes, sadly, there are stories of people who have died because they stayed behind for their pets. We know pets are family, and that's why it's important to take time to make an emergency plan for your furry loved ones so you never have to make a life and death choice.
1. Get a pet notification sticker for your home.
In case of fire or other emergency at your house, this is a way to notify emergency workers that there are pets inside that need to be rescued.
2. Ensure your pets have current identification.
Microchipping pets is a great way to ensure you and your pet can be reunited should you somehow get separated during a disaster since the information remains intact even if a collar is lost. Be sure that your registered information and subscription is up to date.
A secondary tag and collar are also important for rescuers to quickly visually identify your pet. Microchip scanners may not be available in certain circumstances, so a tag may be the quickest way to a reunion. Have you updated your dog's and cat's tag information lately?
We carry new QR code scan ID tags which allow anyone with a mobile phone to be able to access your contact information. The great thing about QR code tags is that you can update the information yourself, so even if you are displaced, you can change the location to your temporary housing.
These innovative tags have no subscription fees, can be updated 24/7, and direct users to an online profile of your pet that can relay medical needs and more!
Be sure to have photos of your pet on your phone to be able to create fliers and other notifications should you become separated. Having photos showing you with your pet could also be important to prove ownership if you have to claim your pet at a shelter. Having copies of vaccination records that correspond to your pet's rabies tags can also be used to verify ownership.
3. Identify Pet-Friendly Accommodations
If you are asked to evacuate your home, it is no longer safe for your pets either. Find a safe haven either with a boarding facility, a family member outside of the immediate area, or pet-friendly hotel. Have these facilities' numbers programmed in your phone before disaster strikes.
Some Red Cross disaster shelters are starting to provide options for displaced pets, but be ready in case this is unavailable.
4. Make a portable pet supply evacuation kit
Put together an easy-to-grab kit near the door that contains a first aid kit, food in a waterproof container, water, collapsible bowls, and medications. Have photocopies of vaccination records. Carriers and leashes should also be included. Comfort items like toys, blankets, treats and even anxiety aids such as a Thundershirt or Bach's Rescue Remedy might be a good idea. For cats, include litter and disposable roasting pans. Cleaning supplies such as paper towels and disinfectants will be helpful.
Be sure to rotate out food from your emergency kit every two months to keep it fresh. Also check expiration dates on medicines.
5. Start a Pet Buddy System
Swap keys with a trusted pet-loving neighbor to ensure your pet can be evacuated in the event that you are unable to return home. Of course you would offer the same service for your neighbor's pets should the situation be reversed. Make sure your pet buddy is aware of your portable pet supply evacuation kit.
We pray you'll never have to use your Pet Disaster Preparedness Plan, but the peace of mind you'll gain from being prepared will be a comfort.
How can you help your pets be prepared today?