Emergency Pet Preparedness: Safeguarding Your Pets During Catastrophic Weather

Emergency Pet Preparedness: Safeguarding Your Pets During Catastrophic Weather

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Instructor Ed Jones has over 30 years of experience in theindustry, has the title of MasterWater Restorer, is an Institute ofInspection Cleaning andRestoration Certification (IICRC)-approved instructor, and hasserved on the S500-2021consensus body committee todevelop the most recent standard.

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We've considered many home and business preparedness needs to help property owners build resiliency against natural hazards like floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Today's blog addresses creating an emergency plan and kit for your pets to ensure their safety during natural disasters and severe weather events. Next week, we'll consider how to build an emergency kit for the human members of your family. Let's get started on how to prepare for evacuating with your pet or pets.

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Making a plan that addresses your pets' safety includes some of the same steps as planning for yourself. However, a few caveats exist for pet planning in emergencies. For example, not all shelters will let you bring pets with you. The Red Cross typically manages setting up shelters throughout a city or municipality and plans well ahead. Although they have yet to open them, this non-profit organization knows where each shelter will open and designates which will allow pets. To find shelters that do allow pets, you can contact the Red Cross. Hotels and motels, similarly, don't always allow pets. Research which hotel chains allow pets and note this in your emergency plan.

Free Planning Resources

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers free, downloadable preparedness materials to help pet owners prepare for natural hazards involving sheltering-in-place with their pets or evacuating with them. As a part of this disaster preparedness push, the non-profit also provides free pet alert window clings and other preparedness materials by postal mail.  

Complete their online order form to receive your pet emergency preparedness kit. The window cling helps apprise emergency responders about pets in your household and whether you take them with you when evacuating. This information can help keep your animals safe if an emergency occurs while you aren't home to care for them, too.

Create More Than One Planning Option

You never know what the situation will require until a natural hazard occurs. Include in your plan a few ways to address an emergency and provide your pet with a safe place to shelter. These options offer solutions that don't require a hotel room.

  • Phone your veterinarian to find out which boarding kennels operate nearby in emergencies.
  • Call the local animal shelter to learn whether it provides emergency pet shelter.
  • Locate designated caregivers among your family and friends outside your immediate area.

Pack a travel kit for your pet with a pet carrier or kennel, a sturdy leash, any medications they take, and a few favorite chew toys. Also, include enough pet food for a week in this kit. Always keep a strong collar with identification tags on your pet.

Plan for Your Pets

Pets need the help of their favorite humans to survive and thrive during an emergency. Plan now for handling an emergency that requires you to evacuate with your pet or find a place for them to shelter while you evacuate.

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