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Preparing Pets for Unexpected Disasters

Even though it's unpleasant to think about, disasters are unexpected and need to be planned for. When it comes to your pets, you want to make sure you have a plan in case of an emergency. Whether it's a tornado, house fire, hurricane or other natural disaster, have a plan in place, and let your friends and family know what you will do with Fido or Fluffy should an unexpected disaster happen.

Arrange for a safe place

Call friends or family members and ask them if in the event that you must evacuate your home, they could house your pet until you can return home. If your friends or family are unable to care for your pet, call your pet kennel and ask them if they would have any space if a situation arises. Your kennel may also have information on surrounding disaster pet shelters that may be able to help as well. Just remember it's important to have something set up so you know your pet is safe if you can't take your pet with you during a disaster.

Don't forget there are items you may need in order to transport your pet to his or her safe place.

Pack a first aid kit

There’s no telling what may happen during an unexpected disaster. Cuts, scrapes, and even broken bones can affect your pet. Not only should you create a first aid kit for yourself, but you should create one for your pet as well. Pack your own first aid kit for emergencies or buy a pet first aid kit that includes a topical antiseptic, gauze and tape, scissors, wound cleaner and something to help stop the bleeding. It’s also important to pack a couple extra doses of long-term medication that your pet may be taking.

For more information on pet first aid, see our Pet First Aid Awareness infographic!

Pack a supplies kit

Just like you would pack a bag for yourself, you should also pack one for your pet. Make sure to include a full water bottle in case you can’t reach clean water for a while. Pack food, food dishes, a blanket, and leash. Keep the kit somewhere easy that everyone in your family knows about and can find quickly.

Keep ID tags on your pet

Even after taking as many precautions as you can to ensure your pet is safely with you, a family member, a friend, or at a shelter, your pet can still get lost. That’s why it's important to keep an ID tag that has your information on it on your pet at all times. Make sure to update the tag if you change your phone number or residence. You may also want to consider microchipping your pet if he or she isn't already.

To find out more about microchipping, read our Benefits of Microchipping Dogs & Cats article.

Max's Tip

Bring your pet indoors at the first signs of an approaching storm. Frightened pets have a tendency to run away.