Our pets are our family, so it’s not surprising that many believe an emergency plan for the family would also apply to the pets.
But this is not always true.
This is because not all shelters and hotels allow pets. Should you need to evacuate, you will need to have all the proper items to care for your animal. Here’s what to include in a disaster plan for your pets, according to the Humane Society.
Before the storm
Creating a good disaster plan is all about getting started early.
Make sure your cats and dogs are wearing collars and identification tags that have accurate details. It’s a good idea to include your mobile phone number on their collars in case your pet gets lost during a storm.
Be sure to include items for your pet in your emergency kit. You might have packed enough food for your human family members, but don’t forget to include the food your pets would need to eat in the event of a disaster. Other items such as medications your pet requires would be essential for your kit.
Another step you can do today is locating pet-friendly shelters and hotels near you, should you be required to evacuate ahead of a major storm. If they do accept pets, make sure you pass any restrictions on pet size and species. Create a list of these shelters, and keep it in a safe place.
Check out these websites for finding pet-friendly lodging:
During the storm
Once a hurricane is heading your way, here are few rules to include in your plan. The first rule to remember is that if it isn’t safe for you to stay at home during a storm, it is also not safe for your pets. These seems like an obvious rule, but many pets have been left behind in the past during hurricanes.
So, if you need to evacuate, always take your pets with you.
The second rule to follow during an emergency is to evacuate early. Don’t wait until it is too late, and circumstances force you to leave your pets behind.
However, if you do decide to stay home, make sure you follow the next couple of steps to ensure your pets stay safe.
- Identify a safe area where you can all stay together
- Close off unsafe nooks where cats may try to hide
- Remove dangerous items from the area, such as toxic products
- Keep emergency kit and other supplies in safe area
After the storm
You might feel relieved to know the storm has passed, but your responsibility to protect your pet is not yet over.
Keep these steps in mind:
- Don’t let pets roam loose. The aftermath of a storm can still be dangerous
- Be on the lookout for any wild animals that could pose a threat to your pets
- Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers if you feel they can escape
- Watch out for behavioural problems caused by the stressful situation.Your pet needs you now more than ever to know it is in safe hands.