May is a month of renewal in nature…a time for budding flowers to blossom and the next generation of wildlife to take their first tentative steps out into the world. Along with the beauty, however, the season also brings destruction, with tornadoes, flooding and other severe weather events reminding us of the fragility of our surroundings and our security in it. Helping pet parents devise a plan to protect four-legged family members in times of crisis, FEMA has declared May 13, 2017 National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.
Creating a Pet Emergency Kit
To defend your dog or cat against a natural disaster, FEMA advises an evacuation plan and a Pet Emergency Go-Kit complete with:
- First aid items
- A three-day supply of water and food
- Pet care supplies, such as food and water bowls, waste bags and a leash and collar
- Any required medication and a copy of your pet’s medical records
- Important contact information
- Comfort items to calm the frayed nerves of your canine or cat companion, like their favorite toy or a blanket
Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe in a Natural Disaster
Other recommended steps to keep your pet safe in the event of a natural disaster include:
- Get your dog and/or cat microchipped and make sure they wear a collar ID tag.
- Remember to keep all contact information on the ID tag up to date.
- Alert first responders to the fact that there are pets in your home by displaying a pet rescue decal where it can be easily spotted, such as on the front door or window. Include your veterinarian’s contact information on the decal.
- Where do your pals with paws hide when they are frightened? Finding the spot where they feel safe when scared will help you locate your pet quickly if an emergency arises and you need to quickly evacuate.
- As some disaster shelters may not accept pets, designate a place to keep your dog or cat in case of evacuation. If relatives or friends cannot accommodate your pet, look for hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies.
- Keep a photo of your four-legged friend with you at all times in case you are separated during a natural disaster.
- Have a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping on hand.
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