This September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, so it’s the perfect time to prepare an emergency plan for everyone in your household. Having a plan in place ahead of time will cause less difficulty, stress, and confusion during a disaster should the unexpected happen. Since pets are also member of our families, it’s important to include them in our emergency planning so everyone can remain safe and calm in the event of any kind of disaster.
So, what should you include in your precious pup’s disaster plan?
It’s always important to keep an updated and accurate ID tag on your dog in case they become separated from you during an emergency. Making sure they are microchipped is also a great idea and can be done at any vet office or some animal shelters. Keeping up with their identification and being vigilant with the information is the fastest way to be reunited with your dog should you get separated. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
If you were to evacuate during a disaster, it’s important to preemptively research pet-friendly accommodations outside of your general area. Call hotels, motels, dog daycares, boarding facilities, and shelters to see if they can take your pup should an emergency occur. Make sure to ask if there are restrictions on size, breed, number, etc. and keep an updated list handy. As soon as you know that you might have to evacuate, call and make a reservation. You’ll want to make sure your dog is comfy and cozy if a disaster strikes!
A Backup Buddy
If you are unable to find pet-friendly lodging in your area or are just more comfortable keeping your pet with a friend, it’s also important to have a backup buddy should you need to evacuate. Make a plan ahead of time with a trusted family member or friend who can care for your dog while you’re away. Make sure this person is comfortable with your pup (and vice versa), and knows all the ins and outs of caring for them. It truly does take a village sometimes!
Emergency Management Information
It’s a good idea while planning for the unexpected to keep a list of contact information for emergency management personal in your area. Places like police offices, fire stations, veterinary hospitals, and even your local animal control officers can provide helpful advice and information on what to do with your dog during a disaster. Just like with the lodging list, keep this information handy and ready to grab should you need to call right away. There’s always someone to help and you and your pup are never alone!
A Pet Supply Kit
Just like you would for yourself and your family, always have an emergency supply kit ready for your furry friend. When making the kit, think of basic survival necessities as well as helpful tools and regularly used items. You’ll want to have enough items that your dog will be comfortable for at least a week, but not so much that their kit becomes cumbersome to carry and travel with. Some important things to include are:
- Food & Clean Water
- Medications and Supplements
- Updated Vaccination & Veterinary Records
- A First-Aid Kit
- Extra Leash & Collar with ID Tags
- A Carrying Crate or Bag (if needed for travel)
- Grooming Supplies (such as brushes, wipes, nail trimmers, etc.)
- Puppy Pads with Cleaning Spray & Paper Towels (if necessary)
- A Travel Bed
- Familiar Items (such as toys, treats, blankets, or clothing)
- An Updated Photo of Your Pet
We hope that you and your pets never have to experience an emergency that requires evacuation. Should something happen, however, it’s always better to be well prepared and well informed so you can avoid extra stress and confusion. Including your furry friend in your disaster plan will ensure that everyone in your household stays calm, stays together, and stays safe!
If local officials ask you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too!