Pet Owners Need To Be Prepared For Not Only Their Own Safety, But Their Animals’ Too
By Catalina Barrios
The compassion first responders show to animals gives hope.
This summer has been the worst in many years for natural disasters. I remember when I lived in Florida with my abuelita and every summer, mainly in July and August we had to prepared for any of Mother Nature’s surprising visits. I remember buying water and non-perishable food at the grocery stores and also sitting in the living room with my grandma as she had beside her a little box with our IDs and important documents as she said that if we had to evacuate, that box was the first thing we will take.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes can happen anytime. Do you now what to do if an emergency occurs?
If you don’t, the following 7 steps will help you to keep your pet safe during an emergency.
1. Prepare an emergency box of supplies.
Don’t forget pet food in this emergency box!
As you pack an emergency kit for your family and yourself, it’s a great idea to also pack one for your pet. This kit should include: a current photo of your pet, first aid supplies, a 3 day supply of cat and / or dog food stored in a waterproof container, toys, leashes, medications, copy of medical records, and why not one of their favorite blankets.
2. Microchip your pet.
This is one of the best ways to ensure if your pet ever gets lost, they will be reunited with you as soon as possible. Make sure you register the microchip with the manufacturer as well as keep your contact information current with the microchip company. A microchip is worth the investment as the last thing you want is to never see your pet again. This is so important.
3. Choose a safe place.
Sadly, some organizations do not accept pets at emergency shelters.
Know a few safe places you can go if a disaster occurs, especially those that can take care of your pets for a couple of days if needed. Write down the information of your local animal shelters, veterinarians, and even family and friends. If you decide to stay home and not evacuate, make sure to bring your pet with you to whichever room in the home is safest.
4. Have a carrier.
If you need to evacuate, make sure to bring your pet carrier or crate to transport them to keep them safe. They may be required to be crated at an emergency shelter, and a crate makes transport easier in uncertain situations.
5. Make prior arrangements.
Pets are family and need protection.
You never know when a disaster may happen. It is always good to be prepared, especially if your pet spends a long time alone during the day. If a disaster occurs and you are not home, make sure someone reliable knows you have a pet and that they need to get to somewhere safe. You can give a neighbor, a friend, or someone you trust a spare key to your home and also place a rescue alert sticker on your front door to let firefighters and police know there is a pet inside the home.
6. Check for hidden places.
Many pets may hide if they feel scared. It is important to learn where you pet likes to hide in your house. If you can find them quickly, you can evacuate faster. Many animals get scared by loud noises during storms and may seek comfort somewhere unusual.
7. Beware of diseases
Natural disasters can lead to the transmission of diseases.Keep your pet away from mosquitoes, dirty water, wildlife, and unfamiliar animals. Some of these diseases can be transmitted to people. The most common diseases are: rabies, ringworm and leptospirosis and can be easily spread by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.
What else would you add to the list? It’s important to have these conversations with fellow pet owners as we are a loving community with a great ability to share knowledge. Keeping pets safe is important and anything we can do to plan ahead, we would do for our beloved furry ones.