Tips to Ensure that You and Your Pets are Prepared for an Emergency

No one likes to think about or anticipate emergency situations or disasters, but planning for such crises can save you and your pets in the long run.  Regardless of where you live, these tips–compiled from the ASPCA, FEMA, and Ready.gov–will simplify your response to an emergency.

1. The cardinal rule of managing an emergency: During an evacuation, always bring your pets!  If you can’t get to your animals, discuss with your neighbors a plan to evacuate your pets (this is a reciprocal agreement, and will guarantee the animals’ safety).  Window decals or stickers on your front door or main windows will alert emergency response teams that there are animals in your house in need of rescue.

2. Not all emergency shelters house animals during crises; contact your veterinarian or local shelters for information on where you can house your pet safely during a disaster.

3. Emergency kits for your animals are equally as important as for humans.  Gather First Aid supplies, one week’s worth of food and water per pet, medications, veterinary records, litter/litter trays, antibacterial wipes, trash bags, dishes, a blanket, leashes, collars, toys, and a flashlight.  It is also wise to carry a recent photo of your pet(s); in case of separation, the photo assists in the recovery of your pet.  A crate or carrier will contain your animal, too.

4. Make sure your pets are wearing tags or boasting a microchip.

For more information, please reference the following websites:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness/

http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/pets.html

http://www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/animals.shtm

http://www.petfinder.com/disaster

http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=36

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