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Disasters Planning Tips

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Have a Pet Plan

Natural disasters, such as flash floods, hurricanes, or forest fires, and man-made problems such as gas explosions and leaking tank cars incidents can arrive with little, if any, warning. The type of disaster will determine whether to shelter in place or evacuate the area. Your county/local emergency management coordinator will have the most current updates and recommendations at the time of the disaster. By developing a disaster action plan for yourselves and your pets, you can improve the chances that all of you can make it through a disaster safely. please remember your pets and consider their needs when developing your disaster plan.

If you are ever instructed to evacuate, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS OR ANIMALS BEHIND. It is unlikely for pets or larger animals to survive on their own. If by some chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return. Prepare now and protect your family and pets before the next disaster strikes.

Take Steps to Protect Your Pets

  1. Have a safe place to take your pets. Do this research ahead of time, before a disaster strikes. Prepare a list of emergency phone numbers, and keep it handy. If your pet has any special needs, such as a special diet or medication consider their requirements in your disaster planning, before you need to evacuate these animals.
  2. Make arrangements with trustworthy neighbors for pet care or find boarding kennels within and outside your area if a disaster strikes.
  3. Listen for public service announcements during a disaster that may instruct you to take your pets to a temporary emergency animal shelter.
  4. Get a portable pet carrier for each pet. These carriers should be large enough for the pet to stand up and turn around in. Get your pet used to the carrier ahead of time.
  5. Have identification for each pet. Be sure to keep your information ALWAYS up to date.
  6. Be sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. Keep the documentation together in a re-sealable plastic bag in your pet’s disaster travel kit, along with name/phone of their veterinarian.

Prepare a disaster travel kit:
In case you must leave the area with your pet, this kit should include:

  • Copies of Pet License, microchip, tattoo and/or ID, photos of pet (from all angles and with owner(s), and plastic bag with proof of vaccination.
  • Proper size metal or plastic pet carrier
  • Leashes and obedience aids
  • Non-spill food bowls
  • Pet foods, including special diets
  • Motion sickness pills prescribed by your veterinarian, if needed
  • Water in sanitized non-breakable containers
  • Special medications with instructions.
  • Newspapers, paper towels, handy-wipes, can openers, a flashlight, and blankets.
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