If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that disaster can strike at any moment, without warning and without mercy. It’s hard enough to keep your human family members safe, and when you add pets into the mix, there is an entirely new level of preparedness that needs to happen. It’s a lot to think about, but pets are family and should never be left behind in an emergency situation. Having an emergency plan and being prepared gives you and your whole family the best chance of protection and safety during these unprecedented events. Be proactive and be prepared. Here is your pet preparedness checklist!
The first part of the checklist helps ensure you are covered in case the worst case scenario happens and you do get separated from your pet.
🔲 Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and tags at all times with up-to-date information.
🔲 Microchip your pet and/or ensure all information is accurate.
🔲 Prepare and keep accessible a pet disaster kit for easy grabbing in an emergency. (We will get back to this in a minute 👍).
🔲 Get a pet alert window sticker and place it in a prominent window of your home.
🔲 Get trained in pet first aid - it could save your, or someone else’s, pet’s life.
Learn about HSSA’s Pet First Aid and Safety Training classes!
Put a Plan in Place
Organizing an evacuation plan is key in keeping you and your pets together and safe.
🔲 Find a pet-friendly place where you and your pet can stay. Plan that none of the emergency shelters in your area will be accepting pets, that’s usually the case. Find a pet-friendly hotel, out-of-town shelter or boarding facility, and identify family or friends outside of your area who would be willing to take you and your pet in.
🔲 Partner up with neighbors or friends nearby who are willing to help you evacuate your pet if you aren’t home, or able to get home, in an emergency.
Pack a Pet Supply Kit for Every Pet in the Home
This should be easy to find and grab in any emergency and contain everything your pet needs for as comfortable of an evacuation as possible. It should contain:
🔲 Photocopies of important veterinary records; vaccinations, prescriptions, medical history, etc.
🔲 Important pet documents; photocopied registration, ID information, your contact information, and current photos of each pet (try to find a waterproof container for these and the veterinary records).
🔲 Your veterinarian’s contact information
🔲 Food and water bowls
🔲 Water, food, and medications; a two week supply for each is recommended.
🔲 Proper pet carrier equipped with bedding/blanket and toys.
🔲 Proper pet elimination care; a litter box for cats, poop bags for dogs, towels, and cleaning products.
🔲 Leash, collar with ID tags, and a harness.
🔲 Pet first aid kit.
Knowing what to do to protect your pet and how to do it is essential in keeping your pet safe and healthy. Here, at HSSA, we want to make sure every pet parent has the tools they need to be prepared and help their pet in any situation. Our Pet First Aid and Safety Training Classes give pet parents valuable knowledge and hands-on learning in emergency training like CPR and treating medical emergencies, but that’s not all we do. In these classes participants also learn a lot about prevention and identifying warning signs in their pet that might be telling them something isn’t right. You’ll gain important knowledge and valuable skills to help you best care for your pet.
There is no way to predict when a disaster will occur and what the ramifications of it will be, but by following this checklist and being proactive you are giving yourself and your furry family the best chance of getting through it unscathed. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” He may not have been referring to disaster preparedness, but the statement still rings true. Be prepared. Be ready. Be safe.