When Disaster Strikes

Will you be prepared?

Many people do not think to plan ahead for a disaster or emergency. Instead, they are overwhelmed, when disaster does strike.

When preparing for a disaster, be sure to plan and make arrangements for your pets as well.

Take your pets with you.

Although animals are not currently allowed in evacuation shelters, times are changing. Ask your vet ahead of time about boarding your animals during a disaster. Do not wait until your are told to evacuate to try and make arrangements.

Have a plan.

If you are normally away from home during the day, make arrangements with a neighbor to account for and secure your pets.

Make sure your pet has a permanent ID.

Most animals will survive a disaster, but will never be reunited with their families because they were not wearing their ID collars. Collars can also come off so it is best to have your animal either tattooed or microchipped for positive ID.

Keep vaccination and health record current.

Diseases can spread very quickly during flooding. Help your pet survive by insuring they are current on all shots.

Have a way to restrain you pet.

Even obedient dogs can panic during a storm. Keep leashes and a crate or carrier at hand where it can be accessed quickly. At hand does not mean, stored in the rafters out in the garage. A harness makes a better restraint than a collar, should the dog panic.

Emergency supplies.

Just as you would keep a supply of fresh water and food on hand for your family, be sure you have food and water stored for your pets also. Keep several days worth of food and safe drinking water as well as any necessary medications packed and ready to go. If your pet uses canned food, be sure to include a can opener and a spoon.

First aid kit and directions.

It is very easy to make your own first aid kit or you can purchase one already made up. Most items will be useful for both animals and humans. Keep a first aid book with your supplies, don’t try to rely on memory in an emergency. “Help! The quick Guide to First Aid for Your Dog” by Veterinarian Michelle Bamberger (Howell/Macmillan) is excellent, well organized and easy to follow.

“Lost Dog” kit.

Don’t wait until it happens. During a disaster, it may be hard to get flyers printed so do them ahead of time. Should you and your pet become separated, you will be prepared. Keep the posters and a loaded staple gun with your other supplies. Offering a “Reward” is normally helpful. Remember to put poster at all local veterinary offices and well as the local animal shelters.

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