It has been a number of years since the disaster, but the message still remains. Hurricane Katrina taught us all a lesson about how important it is to prepare for the worst case scenario with our pets.
When disaster strikes, you need to be able to jump into action and do what needs to be done for you, your family, and your pets. No longer are our pets thought of as household items that can take care of themselves. They need to be incorporated into our emergency action plans.
Be Prepared Emergency planning can be a very extensive topic, so here we will focus on your pets, which many other plans leave out.
There are several steps that you can take now in preparation for a possible disaster.
* Make sure your pets have proper identification on at all times. Consider having your pets microchipped.
* Get a sticker for your window and door that alerts emergency workers to the number and type of pet(s) that could be inside.
* Gather and organize your pet’s medical history. This should include vaccinations, allergies, and any medical conditions your pet has had or does have. This information will be useful if your pet needs to be kept in a shelter or kennel. If your does is hurt during the emergency, your regular vet may not be available, in which case another vet will need to know your pet’s history. Put a copy of this information in your Emergency Kit (see below).
* Take and print an up to date photo of your pet. Anything digital may not be accessible during a natural disaster. The photo will be helpful case you and your pet become separated. A photo will aid in reuniting you and your pet if you become separated. Tip: Take the photo of your pet next to something that is easily recognizable to show how big or small your pet is. Put this photo in the Emergency Kit and be sure to keep it updated.
* During an emergency, you may have to leave your home. Decide where you will go if you have to evacuate. You may not be able to find a shelter, relative's house, or hotel that will allow your pet. If that happens, try to find a kennel or veterinarian that will be willing to shelter your pet. Plan now so you will not have to worry about this during an emergency.
* If you become trapped in your home, or are advised not to leave, you will need to find the safest place to stay. A basement is usually considered the safest place during a hurricane, for example. You will also want to keep jugs of water, food, pet food, and medical supplies in that area.
Emergency Kit Checklist Here is a list of the items you will need for your pet in your Emergency Kit. Keep in mind this kit should be small enough and easy enough to grab in case of evacuation.
* Photo ID of each pet * Medical records * Leashes and collars * Crates or kennels for each pet * At least 3 days worth of non perishable food for each pet * Water - at least one gallon per pet per day for at least 3 days * A can opener for pet food cans * Containers for the food and water * Pet first aid kit * Litter and disposable litter box for cats * Dog waste bags for dogs * Towels for messes or injury * A toy or blanket for comfort
About the author:
Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for YeePet.com since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor...
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