It’s that time of year where the heat and the rain are in full force...
June 1st identifies the start of hurricane season here in Florida. While stocking up to make sure you have food and water for your family is a great thing, there are also some important steps to take to ensure your pet is taken care of as well.
Here are 4 tips you can take while preparing your pets in case of a natural disaster
1. Have a plan in place and stick to it
Know where you plan on going if you are not able to stay in your house during the storm or other natural disaster. Make sure you have made previous arrangements so you are ready in a moments notice to pack up and leave. Are the roads safe to take or do you need to set another route to take to get there in case of flooding? Do you have an emergency kit set aside, not only for yourself, but also for each pet in your household? Make sure to have a carrier ready and available if needed for each pet as well. You may even want to do a couple trial travel runs so they can get used to the idea if evacuation turns into a reality.
2. Prepare an Emergency Kit
The emergency kit for an animal is not too different than for that of a human. The kit could include up to 2 weeks worth of water and food for your pet. Medications are critical if needed, so make sure to have them at hand. Bowls, leashes, toys, beds, bags, litter (if needed), and even a first aide kit. You may even want to include a couple of flashlights and batteries just in case. Another helpful piece to include in your pet’s kit would be a pet bio with some information regarding their routine and a little bit about their personalities and/or how they interact with other animals and people, including children.
3. Have Health Records on hand
In case of an emergency, you want to make sure your animals are up to date on all their shots; it is possible they will be exposed to other animals at some point during your emergency evacuation. This helps to ensure that they aren’t transmitting or contracting any illness unnecessarily. You will also want to be sure that your pet has his/her microchip in the horrible event that they were to be separated from you. This will higher the chances of you being reunited with them in a timely manner and will help avoid confusion. Don’t forget to check and make sure the information linked to the microchip is also current.
4. Know Your Evacuation Plan
If you decide to stay, make sure to find the safest point in your home and stay there with all of your family and animal family members as well. Try to avoid windows or any unstable walls/areas. Move any items that could pose a threat to you or your animals, including any possible toxins or high up heavy objects. If you can, keep your emergency items together in the “safe” room or part of your home that you plan on staying in. Do not leave your pets outside to roam around and have the opportunity to be injured. Bring your pets inside, even if they are not usually indoor animals. If you do plan on leaving your home, leave early. Have a list of places that you can bring your animals ahead of time so that you aren’t left searching last minute for arrangements. Have directions on hand so that you don’t have to rely on anything but getting you and your pet(s) there safely.
If you follow these steps you will be prepared for a last minute emergency. Having all your supplies and contacts on hand is going to save you and your animal so much time and stress during an already stressful time. Be aware, your pet is going to most likely be confused and thrown off by the interruption in their routine. They are going to look to you to comfort them and help them understand that everything is going to be okay. Your animal is going to really sense your energy and pick up on everything that is going on. Do your best for them by being as prepared as possible and talk to them in a soothing tone and a calm manner. It helps when you can actually be calm, because you already have already prepared. Stay safe out there friends!