With September being National Emergency Preparedness Month, it’s important to remember the needs of those other family members, your pets.
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets.
Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.
Emergency Preparedness for your PETS!
If you need to evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind; they are not likely to survive on their own. For public health reasons, most emergency shelters do not accept pets. Research area hotels/motels that are pet-friendly and identify a few friends and family members who are willing to shelter your pets in an emergency.
Make absolutely certain that your pets wear collars with identification tags at all times. Keep contact information up-to-date. Consider adding a cell phone number or an out-of-area friend or relative to maximize the opportunities for an appropriate caretaker to be contacted regarding your pet. Have your pets microchipped to provide them with a permanent source of identification.
Keep an appropriately sized crate or pet carrier on hand. In the event of a natural disaster, confining your pets in a crate may help prevent injuries from debris. If you do not regularly use a crate, consider occasionally feeding them in their crate to maintain a positive association with confinement.
Create a pet survival kit that’s kept in an easily accessible place and contains necessities like two weeks’ worth of pet food, bottled water, food/water bowls, can opener, medications, pet first aid kit and one or more sturdy leashes. Include current medical relevant information about your pet, contact information for your veterinarian as well as for any persons authorized to care for your pet in your absence. It may also be helpful to include a brief medical history and current photo.
Make a list of area boarding facilities, veterinarian offices and shelters. In the event that you are unable to return home right away and need long-term care for your pets, these facilities can assist you in finding appropriate care.
Not all emergencies take place when you’re home. Designate a nearby friend or family member to check on your pets if necessary. Add a Pet Rescue sticker to your front door or window to alert rescue personnel of the type and number of animals inside. Stickers can be purchased at most pet stores and are available free of charge at www.aspca.org. Much more information about other types of preparation for different animals like horses, birds and reptiles can be found at this page on the ASPCA website.
Information provided by FEMA, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, ASPCA and Chelan Fire and Rescue
Chelan Fire and Rescue
232 East Wapato Ave, Chelan, WA 98816