Be Ready, Be Safe: Pet Preparedness Month - How to Prepare Your Pets for Disasters

Be Ready, Be Safe: Pet Preparedness Month - How to Prepare Your Pets for Disasters

Posted by B Wilson on Jun 13th 2024

June is not only a month for sunny days and outdoor adventures but also a time to focus on an often overlooked aspect of disaster preparedness - our pets. As we prioritize our own safety plans, it's crucial not to forget our furry companions who rely on us for their well-being. Pet Preparedness Month serves as a timely reminder to ensure that our beloved pets are included in our emergency plans. In this guide, we'll explore essential steps to prepare your pets for disasters, ensuring their safety and comfort during challenging times.

  1. Make a Comprehensive Plan: When disaster strikes, having a well-thought-out plan can alleviate stress and uncertainty. Include your pets in your evacuation strategy:
    • Identify pet-friendly shelters or accommodations in advance, as many public shelters and hotels may not allow pets.
    • Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends, or relatives who can assist in caring for or evacuating your pets if you're unable to do so.
    • Microchip your pets and maintain up-to-date contact information, including an emergency contact outside your immediate area.
    • Seek guidance from local emergency management offices or animal control agencies for tailored advice on pet care during emergencies.
  2. Build an Emergency Kit for Your Pet: Just as you assemble an emergency kit for your family, prepare a dedicated kit for your pets. Ensure you have supplies for both sheltering in place and evacuation:
    • Stockpile several days' worth of food and water in waterproof containers.
    • Include extra medication, a first aid kit tailored to your pet's needs, and grooming items.
    • Equip your pet with a collar, ID tag, leash, and harness, along with backup copies of registration documents.
    • Prepare a travel bag, crate, or carrier for each pet for safe transport.
    • Pack sanitation supplies such as litter, litter box, newspapers, and cleaning agents.
    • Keep a recent photo of you and your pet together to aid in identification if you're separated.
  3. Tips for Large Animals: If you have large animals like horses, goats, or pigs, take additional measures to ensure their safety:
    • Provide each animal with identification, such as tags or microchips.
    • Plan evacuation routes in advance and ensure vehicles and trailers are ready for transportation.
    • Arrange for adequate supplies of food, water, veterinary care, and handling equipment at evacuation destinations.
    • If evacuation isn't possible, decide whether to shelter large animals indoors or release them outside based on the circumstances.
  4. Stay Informed and Act Promptly: Stay abreast of current conditions and heed official warnings to protect yourself and your pets:
    • Pay attention to wireless emergency alerts and local officials' instructions for evacuation or sheltering in place.
    • Utilize resources like the FEMA app and National Weather Service alerts for weather updates and safety tips.
    • Bring pets indoors at the first sign of a storm or disaster to ensure their safety.

Conclusion: As Pet Preparedness Month approaches, take proactive steps to safeguard your pets during emergencies. By incorporating them into your family's emergency plan, assembling comprehensive emergency kits, and staying informed, you can ensure the safety and well-being of every family member, including your beloved pets. Remember, a little preparation today can make a significant difference in keeping your furry companions safe tomorrow.