Emergency Pet Preparedness
Emergencies come in many forms and they may require
anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent
evacuation. And each type of disaster requires different
measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do
for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.
This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are
inside your home, in case you cannot. The card must be
visible to rescue workers. It must contain 1) the types
and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your
veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian's phone number.
Fill out our order form for an emergency pet alert
sticker for your home (please allow 6-8 weeks for
delivery). You may also contact your local pet supply
store to determine if they carry similar stickers for
a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. If you do,
they may be at risk for injury or even worse. Red Cross
disaster shelters will not accept pets because of health
and safety regulations. So it is imperative that you have
determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time.
Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred
boarding kennels and facilities for use in the event of
Check with your local animal shelter to determine if
they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate
area that accept pets.
Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate
area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Keep an emergency kit handy for your pets. This kit should
contain the following:
Pet first-aid kit and guide book.
Canned (pop-top) or dry food.
Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are
Litter or paper toweling.
Pet feeding dishes.
Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof
container with a two-week supply of any medicine your
pet requires. (Remember that food and medications need
to be rotated out of your emergency kit otherwise they
will go bad or become useless.)
A pet traveling bag or sturdy carrier, ideally for
Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet).
Photos of your pets (in case you are separated and
need to make "Lost" posters).
is something that should take considerable time and
thought. You should make plans for a temporary home for
your pets in the event of an emergency. (And also make
arrangements for a permanent home in the event you can no
longer care for your pet.)
When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider
someone who lives close to your residence. He or she
should be someone that is generally home during the day
while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A
set of keys should be given to this trusted individual.
This may work well with a neighbor who has pets of their
own. (You may even swap responsibilities depending upon
who has accessibility.)
When choosing a permanent caregiver, other criteria
should be considered. This is a person to whom you are
entrusting the care of your pet in the event that
something should happen to you. When selecting this
"foster parent," consider people who have met your pet and
have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure
to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent
caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of
caring for your pet.
you will want to provide a trust for your pet's financial
future. Unlike a will, a trust provides for your pet
immediately, and can apply not only if you die, but if you
become disabled. You may designate your permanent
caregiver as the trustee, or choose a separate person to
be the trustee of the funds that you have set aside for
your pet's care.
Time is of the essence when you must evacuate your home in
a crisis. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple
Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an
exit as possible.
Make sure all pets are collared with up-to-date
identification. Your pet's ID tag should contain his
name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs.
The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet for the
most permanent identification. (A microchip is implanted
in the animal's shoulder area, and can be read by
scanner at most local animal shelters.)
Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or
warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become
disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to
make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the
danger zone at the first sign of disaster.
You may live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophies, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods.
If so, you should plan accordingly.
Locate rooms well in advance that offer safe
havens. In other words, selected rooms that are clear
of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms,
bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.
Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly
important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up
bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have
access to water during a power outage and other more forseeable
In the event of flooding, look for the highest
location in your home, or for a room with access to
counters or high shelves where your animals can take
Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage
In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket
over the cage. This may also help reduce the stress of
In warm weather, carry a spray bottle
to moisten your bird's feathers periodically.
Have photos available and leg bands on for
If the carrier does not have a perch, line it with
paper towels and change those frequently.
Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily
basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave
your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure its daily
Snakes may be transported in a pillowcase, but you
should have permanent and secure housing for them when
they reach a safe place.
Take a bowl of water with you that is large enough
for soaking, and also bring a heating pad.
Lizards should be transported like birds.
Animals such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea
pigs, etc., should be transported in secure carriers
with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
Article courtesy: The American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Printed with permission.
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