Disaster Preparation for Pets
Many families prepare for natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, or floods. It's essential to include your pet in your plans. Check out the list of strategies below for your pet, because no matter what your plan is, always keep your pet in mind and have an evacuation plan along with supplies on hand in case of an emergency.
During a natural disaster like a flood you and your pet may not have a place to stay. While it may be easy for you to go to a local hotel, your pet may not be welcome. That's why it's important to hash out a place where your pet will feel safe during trying times. A safe place could be a neighbor's home, a relative or even a kennel your pet is familiar with. If you are going to take your pet to someone's house, taking a crate, toys and treats is a good way to make your pup or kitty feel a little less afraid. Consider keeping a crate (that your pet has used before) along with other favorite supplies in a place that you can get to quickly.
If your pet gets hurt during a natural disaster you will need to be able to help him or her. Getting together a first aid kit for your pet is the first step in being prepared for any minor pet injuries. If your pet gets cut or scraped, it's important to have a wound cleaner to get rid of any bacteria. It's also important to help stop pain with a mild pain reliever. Other supplies should include an anti-itch spray for insect bites, gauze for wrapping, and an antibiotic ointment from your veterinarian. Keep your pet's first aid kit on hand for natural disasters, or even for daily use to on trips to the dog park or short day trips.
If your pet stays with you, you may want to keep additional supplies on hand just in case you can't get to yours. Pet supplies like an additional water and food bowl, bed, leash, and even food, may be hard to find during a natural disaster, so keeping a second stash somewhere in your home, a friend or relative's home, or even in your car can really be of benefit in a time of crisis. Also, include in your supplies kit a week's worth of medication that your pet may be taking.
Whatever you decide to do with your pet during a natural disaster, be sure to discuss it with family members and friends. Write down the phone number and place you are planning to take your pet and hand them to friends and relatives. If by chance you are unable to pick up your pet your friend or relative may be able to.
For more information on preparation for pet emergencies see our Pet First Aid Awareness page.
If you plan to keep your pet with you during a natural disaster, call hotels in the area to see if they are pet friendly and make a list so you will have a place you and your pet can go together.