How To

Week 5 of 52: Pet Care

Welcome to this on-going series entitled “52 Weeks to Preparedness.” Each Monday, we will share the week’s action plan, authored by Tess Pennington of Readynutrition. This step-by-step plan provides an organized method of increasing family readiness. 

This week’s installment is called “Week 5 of 52: Pet Care.” If you missed week 4, “Communications” you can find it here.

Week 5 of 52: Pet Care

Our furry friends are more to us than just pets, and for many of you, they are a precious family member. Caring for them during a disaster is extremely important. You need to know that when an unexpected storm occurs, many of our animals face anxiety just as we do. Knowing how your pet will react before, during and after a storm is the first step in ensuring their safety. Making sure that you anticipate your pet’s needs during an emergency because it will help them cope with this disruption into their daily routines. Also, have a pet survival kit and a pet first aid kit set aside for your pet, as this too ensures their safety.

Preps to buy:

      • Extra harness, leash, and/or carrier
      • ID tags with your contact information
      • 1-2 week supply of food for all pets (if not already bought in week 1)
      • 2-5 gallons of water for each pet
      • Pet first aid kit
      • Current vaccination and medical records for each animal (contact your veterinarian).
      • 2 weeks worth of medication for each animal (if applicable). Note: Pay attention to the expiration date and routinely rotate medicines to ensure they are not wasted.

Action Items:

1. Decide if your pet(s) will be going to an animal hotel, sheltering in-place with the family, or staying at another home. Make arrangments before the disaster is imminent.

2. If you haven’t purchases a pet survival kit, make your own. In addition to the items listed above, you will need the following:

a. Cat litter/pan or doggie pads

b. Can opener

c. Food dishes

d. First aid kit

e. Additional supplies required for where the pet will stay.

3. Ensure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.

Note: If pets do not have their shots up to date, then pet hotels will not accept them.

4. Get a rescue alert sticker. It will alert rescue workers that a pet is inside the home. When displaying this sticker, ensure that it is placed in an area that is visible to rescue workers.

5. Verify that ID tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. Attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site (if possible).

Note: If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.

      • Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes to include in with your family emergency photos.
      • Ensure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape.

6. Have a current photo of your pet to include with your family emergency photos.

7. Be sure to have a pet carrier, leash, or harness, if you pet is prone to panicking.

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