September is National Disaster Preparedness month. Hurricane season has just begun, but already the east coast is bracing for a severe hurricane expected to make landfall this week. Before disaster strikes close to your home, it is imperative to have a plan. Many disaster shelters do not allow pets and leaving them behind should never be an option. There is no guarantee if or when you would be returning home and the cost of rescuing domestic pets can be tremendous. In times of disaster it is estimated that 70% of people will not evacuate their home if they cannot take their pets with them. While there are many resources in times of emergency, it is important to take the first steps in making a personal plan for you and your pets. Here are some ways you can do so.
Have a Plan in Place
Prepare your whole family for a disaster. Having a personal and family plan is essential during an emergency. Get the family together as soon as possible and develop a plan in the event of an emergency. Verify that information is up to date semi-annually. Click to print your Personal Disaster Plan and your Family Emergency Plan.
Create Emergency Kits
Having an emergency kit and plan already prepared can take stress off an already stressful situation. For pets, having an emergency kit and plan is essential to ensuring your furry friend will not be left behind. In your kit you should have extra clothes, food, water, current photos and medical records. In your pet’s kit there should be food, bottled water, leash, color, water/food bowls, blanket and a copy of medical records. Print our supply checklist for pet emergency evacuation.
Another important step to take in case of an emergency is having a designated person to take care of your pet. This can guarantee your pet will be safe if you have to evacuate and most importantly, be returned to you when you are able to return.
Have A Meeting Place(s)
If your family was to get separated, do you have a previously planned area to meet? This could be as simple as the stop sign down the street or the neighbor’s mailbox. It also would be beneficial to have a farther away meeting place in case the one close by is no longer an option.
Update Microchips and Pet Identification Tags
Now is the time to make sure your pet’s microchip information is correct and updated. If your pet is not micro chipped, this is the best way to locate a lost pet in an emergency. All animals that have been adopted from the New Hampshire SPCA have been micro-chipped prior to adoption.
Other resources: Pet Friendly Hotels