Having supplies packed and ready to go in case of an emergency can make necessary evacuations easier on everyone. It also helps to practice so you and your pet both know what to expect if and when the real emergency occurs.
The Atlantic hurricane season is officially from June 1st until November 30th, because that’s when the majority of storms occur. Most folks have either experienced, or seen the effects of, one of these deadly storms. The chances of your pet surviving a hurricane may depend on the planning you do now to make sure you both stay safe.
There are two parts to any disaster plan. The first part deciding how you will evacuate yourself and your pet to a safe place, and the second part is knowing where you both can go. Moving your pet includes making sure you have supplies ready to go. You’ll need food, water, plastic bowls, a towel or blanket, a carrier for a cat or small dog and a leash and collar or harness for any dog. Keep all supplies in a tote or bag that can be ready to grab-and-go in an emergency. Add a supply of medicines your pet might need and a photo of your pet for identification in case you become separated and have to search for your furry friend. Speaking of identification, have your pet microchipped – that’s an ID that can’t be lost.
The second part of a disaster plan is having a destination in mind if you have to evacuate. Actually, it’s a good idea to have two or more destinations, in case your first choice is affected by the same storm or is inaccessible at the time you need it.
There are a number of websites that offer suggestions for emergency preparedness for pets. Check out the American Red Cross at redcross.org, the ASPCA at aspca.org, and a number of others including ready.gov and petdisasterplan.com. You can find clickable links on the Alabama Public Radio website at apr.org. Click on Programs and then on Speaking of Pets.
The worst thing to do with your pet in an emergency is to leave your pet behind. If it’s not safe for you to stay, then it’s not safe for your best friend. Don’t put it off - make an emergency action plan today. Advance disaster planning can help to keep both you and your best friend safe and healthy no matter what blows your way, when you’re speaking of pets.
(See clickable links above.)