By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder
Would you be prepared in an emergency? Would your pets be prepared? Well, they of course, look to you to keep them safe so the question becomes — would your pets survive an emergency? Do you have a disaster preparedness plan for you and your fur-babies?
When you look at the weather events that are happening: tornadoes, earthquakes, wild fire, volcanic eruptions, snowfall, hurricanes… the list goes on. Do you have a disaster preparedness — or go-bag — for your family and your pets? The time to prepare one is before you need one.
By the time you:
- Hear the notification on the radio about an impending disaster the stores will be sold out of necessary items
- Gas station lines could be so long they may run out before you get there
- If you need to evacuate, but don’t know what shelters in your area are open to bringing your pets you are too late!
FEMA declared the second Sunday in May as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day and that is on May 14 (second Saturday in May).
Pet Calendar: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
FEMA offers information to protect your pets in an emergency and to prepare a Pet Emergency Go-Kit and to have an evacuation plan in place. Your go kit should include:
- First aid items for each pet in the household
- A three-day supply of water and food for each pet in the household
- Pet care supplies, such as food and water bowls, waste bags and a leash and collar
- Medication your pet needs
- Copies of your pet’s veterinarian records
- Contact information for you and information for other family members in case you can be reached
- Photos of your pet and photos of you with your pet in case you get separated
- Items from home that will keep your pet comfortable and as relaxed as possible. That could be his favorite toy or blanket.
- Have your pet carriers in an easy to reach location. Many of us put the pet carriers in the garage or a storage area when not in use — make sure they are easy to reach. In fact, why not put them in a closet by the front door with the go-bag inside it.
Tips to keep your pet safe in an emergency — weather or otherwise:
- Get your dog and cat microchipped. If you don’t want to do that make certain they are wearing collars with an identification tag with your contact info. If your pet is microchipped, make sure your contact information is up to date
- Display a pet rescue decal on your home in case you’re not at home if emergency responders arrive. This decal will let them know how many animals are in the house. Have your contact info and your vet’s contact info on the decal.
- Know where your pets hide when they’re scared so you can find them and scoop them up to take them with you. Better yet, work with them so they always come when called — you can use positive reinforcement training and treats to even get cats to coem when called.
Today and all other days of the year, be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise in the area of the country in which you live. It could be a lifesaver!