We see a lot of great advice about preparing for evacuation in the event of a storm–but today we received some excellent information from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) about safety measures to take AFTER the storm. Whether you need this for your own pets as you prepare to return home or for a friend who is returning from evacuation, please take a moment to read these tips–and, even if you’re not faced with a storm, spend a few minutes reading through these suggestions so that, when you are faced with a natural disaster, you’re prepared to keep your pets safe upon return home.
When returning home with pets following a disaster, the AVMA recommends the following:
- Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines or other hazards.
- Do not allow pets to roam free outdoors until the area is safe for them to do so. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained. In addition, familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your pets.
- Allow uninterrupted rest and sleep to allow your pets to recover from the trauma and stress of the evacuation and disaster.
- The disruption of routine activities can be the biggest cause of stress for your pets, so try to re-establish a normal schedule as quickly as you can.
- Comfort each other. The simple act of petting and snuggling can reduce anxiety for both people and pets.
- If you notice any signs of stress, discomfort, or illness in your pets, contact your veterinarian to schedule a checkup.
For more information on pets and disasters, visit the AVMA website at avma.org/PetReady.