Emergency Preparedness for your Furry Family Members

Lately it seems like the news is full of stories of hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and wild fires. While I realize that most of us will be fortunate enough to never experience such an event, being prepared for the unexpected is can be easy. What about the more personal emergencies like a house fire or pet health emergency? Are your prepared for that?
There are many kinds of Emergencies, and each requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. So while making a plan with your family be sure to make provisions for your pet.
Pet Alert Sticker
I have a cling on sticker on the front window of my house that list the pets in my home. So in the event of a 911 call emergency officials know to look for your pets. These clings or stickers can be found in pet stores or for free from the ASPCA website. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write "EVACUATED" across the sticker.
Keep Current ID on your Pet
A frightened pet may flee! To help assure your pet is returned to you current ID is the best way. A microchip will never come off and is a great back up plan to a collar and tag.

Pet First Aid & Emergency Clinic
There are numerous books and website that offer First Aid tips for your pet. This can be useful in the event you can’t get to a vet ASAP. Print a copy of the contact info and map of the closest emergency animal clinic put it in your car or someplace you can easily find it and grab should you need to rush to the ER.

Emergency Kits
This is a kit that can be packed and ready to grab in the event of an emerency your pet might have specific needs so include any medications.
• 3-7 days' worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
• paper toweling
• Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
• Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
• Pet feeding dishes
• Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
• Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
• Bottled water, at least 7 days' worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
• Flashlight
• Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
• Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters)
• Travel crate.
Evacuation Plan
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Never assume it will only be for the day. When officials recommend evacuation, follow the instructions of local and state officials.
• 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.
• Not all Emergency Shelters allow pets so check before you go.

Tornado Safety
We have all heard the sirens and scrambled everyone under the stairs or into the bathroom. Don’t forget to secure your pet too.
When an emergency requires you to stay inside your home it's crucial that you keep your pets with you. Have your Emergency Kits with you. Your pets may become stressed during the in-house confinement, so you may consider crating them for safety and comfort. If you do not crate you may want to keep your pet on leash so they can’t run off.