With so much of our focus on the Coronavirus crisis, it can be easy to forget that we also must stay vigilant about natural disasters like wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. For pet owners, this means having an emergency preparedness plan that includes our dogs, cats, and other animals.
Long-time FACE Foundation supporter and Advisory Committee member Sandie Lampe is a San Diego media personality who writes for San Diego Home & Garden Lifestyles magazine and hosts the “Pet Patrol” segment on KUSI TV.
In this guest post, Sandie shares these important pet emergency preparedness tips:
Have a key holder attached to the wall inside or outside the garage door. Having your important keys readily available is (pardon the expression) KEY!
Have a pet travel crate ready to go. Put it in the garage next to your car or in the trunk. Crates should have pockets and/or compartments.
Prepare paperwork with at least two emergency contacts and include medical paperwork with your veterinarian’s contact number. Include a list of any medications that your pet is taking. If necessary, you may have to leave your pet at an emergency facility.
Write Charlie or Fluff’s “manifesto”. Include in the manifesto something like this: “My name is Chowder and I am an 8-year-old lab. My buddy is a bunny named Snowball. We are an odd couple, but we are buds and like to be together. Please keep us together. Do not separate us because we have pet parents who love us and would be devastated if we could not find one another. I am chipped and my mom’s cell number is ____ – ____ – __________.”
Buy a pre-made pet emergency kit or make one up yourself following a checklist like this one.
Place a familiar blanket, toy, portable water bowl, a small supply of water, and a small bag of training treats with a leash and collar together in a package. You may not have time to find all these items in a rush.
Include two weeks of food. Date the food. If food in a previously made kit has expired, throw it out and replace it with fresh food.
How about a fur rehearsal? When disasters occur, most often your dogs or cats go running for the hills. Perhaps they will be running or hiding out of fear of the unknown. In this case, it could be a closet, under the bed, or behind the drapes. As you prepare to evacuate, you are calling for your pets to run with you. Do you have the time to find them? What is your pet’s favorite treat? Shout out your pet’s name or whatever will have your pet running towards you. Try this at least once a week so it becomes routine.
You may not have time to put the emergency kits together once the emergency occurs. Being prepared in advance will assure that your pet will probably survive the ordeal.
Thank you for these great tips, Sandie! Interested in learning more about this topic? Make sure to check out the pet emergency preparedness page on the ready.gov website.