As charter members of your family, your pets trust that you will be able to take care of them in the event of a disaster. As a responsible pet owner, you need to take action before, during and after a disaster occurs. Fifi and Fido love you unconditionally! Show your love for them by including them in your emergency preparedness plans!
Before a Disaster Occurs…
Identify a shelter. Many emergency shelters cannot accept pets, so find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets. Include your local animal shelter’s number in your list of emergency numbers — they might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they’re not available later. Essential Packs provides Fully-Equiped Emergency Preparedness Kit for dogs and cats. Consider adding one of these kits to your families emergency supplies.
Make sure identification tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Keep a current photo of your pet in your wallet or purse for identification purposes. Make sure you have a secure pet carrier and a leash or harness for your pet. If your pet panics, you don’t want him or her to run away.
During a Disaster…
Bring your pets inside immediately. Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink. Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm. Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally.
In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your vet or local pet store about food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth to provide security and filtered light.
After a Disaster…
If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own. In the days following a disaster, keep your pets on a leash and remain in close contact with them when you let them outside. Familiar scents and landmarks may change and your pet may become confused. The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.