Wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes…no one like to think about the possibility of one of these natural disasters actually happening, but the warm weather brings a real chance of these events in certain parts of the U.S. If you’re a pet owner who lives in an area that could be hit by a natural disaster, make sure you have a disaster preparedness plan for your pets. Here are some tips all pet owners should know about.
1. Do research and identify some nearby kennels and pet-friendly hotels in the event that you need to evacuate your home. Many emergency shelters do not take animals, so a back-up plan for your pets is important.
2. Prepare a pet survival kit with such essential supplies as pet food, kitty litter, bottled water, litter pan, can opener, and dishes in case you need to leave home in a hurry.
3. Make sure you have a supply of your pet’s medications and prescription food on hand to take with you if you need to leave before you can pick them up at the vet’s office.
4. Verify that your pet carriers, collars, and leashes are in good condition, so that your pets remain safe and secure in stressful situations.
5. Keep copies of your pet’s medical records and identifying information with the survival kit. Experts also recommend including a current photo of your pet (ideally, one that shows you too), in case you get separated and need to claim him at a shelter.
6. Place a “pets inside” rescue alert sticker in a prominent place on your house to let rescue workers know that there are pets in the house if you’re not at home.
7. Buy a ready-made pet first aid kit or prepare one of your own. Kits should include items like gauze, bandages, towels, hydrogen peroxide, ice pack, scissors, saline solution, antibiotic ointment, eye dropper, and thermometer.
8. Choose a friend or family member to become an emergency caregiver for your pet in the event that something prevents you from getting home to your pet in a timely manner during a disaster.
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