Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other natural or manmade disasters can strike anyone at any time and anywhere. For pet lovers, having an emergency plan in place to reunite with your pet when the unthinkable happens is essential. Below are the best tips to help you do just that. Stay safe!
- Microchip your pet and ensure your pet wears a collar with up-to-date information at all times. In the event of an emergency or just a lost pet situation, this is the simplest and best way to ensure your pet is returned to you. If the thought of microchipping doesn’t sit well, check out the Barkcode collar. This collar has a scannable code that will bring up your pet’s profile and contact information. They also have their own URL and allows rescuers with smartphones to post the pet’s information online to help you and your loved ones be able to reunite with your pet.
- Create an emergency kit. This kit should include current medical records of your pet, proof of ownership, a photo of your pet, two weeks worth of pet food, food or water bowls, bottled water, litter boxes with litter, any medications for your pet and the contact information of a local emergency shelter.
- Place a sticker near your home’s front door. The sticker should allow you to list the number and types of pets residing in your home. This is the best way to alert emergency responders that their are other family members who are in need of rescue.
- Where applicable, plan a safety location ahead of time. In the case of a hurricane, sometimes Red Cross disaster shelters are able to accept pets as well as vet hospitals, boarding facilities, pet-friendly hotels or motels and or your own friends and neighbors can help you reunite with your pets later. When you know a disaster is eminent, taking a few minutes ahead of time can save you weeks of stress and worry later.
- When disaster strikes and an evacuation is necessary, never leave your pets behind. As scary as the situation is for you, it’s just as scary for your pet. Your pet will be much calmer if you can remain together.
- When you’re not home when disaster strikes, plan ahead with your neighbors. Show your friends, neighbors and pet sitter where your emergency kit and carriers are located.
- Always bring along a familiar item. Bringing along a favorite blanket or toy, familiar food and litter for your feline will help them to stay calm whether you are separated or not.