Don't Forget Your Pets

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Pets can be key members of a family. We have to take care of a pet and keep it safe. You need to include your pet(s) in your family emergency plan. If you need to leave your house during an emergency, bring your pet(s) with you-do not leave them behind. Include your pet's needs in your emergency plan by following these guidelines:

  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
  • Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
  • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
  • Consider  boarding your pet with an out-of-town friend or relative
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
  • Pets do not act the same as people in an emergency. You need to securely leash your dogs. You also need to carry your cats in pet carriers.
  • Build an Emergency Kit for your pet and include:
    • Food. At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
    • Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
    • Medicines and medical records.
    • Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
    • First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
    • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
    • Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
    • Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
    • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
    • Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.

 Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is
good for your pet, so get them ready today!