Saturday, March 17, 2012

Disaster Preparedness for You and Your Pets

Living here in Northern CA, we get earthquakes.  Frequently, I have thought about what would be the best way to take care of our 2 cats and our dog in case of a large disaster.  It is one of those things I don't really want to think about, but I need to think about. 

So I decided, once again, to check the internet for some information.   There is a site called "72 Hours.  Are You Prepared?" that has a wealth of information about disaster preparedness, mostly for people, but they do have a section for pets.  These are their suggestions for taking care of your pets.
• Keep a collar, current license and up-to date ID tags on your pet at all times. Consider having your pet microchipped.
• Make sure your pet is comfortable being handled and is used to being in an appropriate carrier, box or cage for transport.
• Keep an updated list of trusted neighbors who could assist your animals in case of an emergency.
• Tighten and secure latches on birdcages. Fasten down aquariums on low stands or tables.

Supplies for each pet:
-Sturdy leashes and/or carriers for transport. A pillowcase is a good option for transporting cats and other small animals.
-Muzzles for dogs
-Food, potable water and medicine for at least one week
-Non-spill bowls, manual can opener and plastic lid
-Plastic bags, litter box and litter
-Current photos of your pet, for reunification purposes
-Names and phone numbers of your emergency contact, local emergency veterinary hospitals and animal shelters
-Immunization records and information on any medical conditions and/or behavior problems
-Pet First-Aid kit and handbook
-Portable fencing or baby gates

Remember that animals react differently under stress. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide and try to escape or even bite or scratch. Outside your home and in the car, keep dogs securely leashed and transport cats in carriers or pillowcases.
• If your pet is lost, contact the nearest animal shelter to report your pet missing as soon as possible. When it is safe, return to your neighborhood to search and distribute “Lost Pet” posters.

Do your best to locate all your animals and keep them with you. If you must evacuate to a disaster shelter, be aware that shelters will only allow service animals for persons with disabilities. In a large-scale disaster, animal shelters will be set up in close proximity to human shelters when possible.

If you must leave your pets behind:
Inform animal rescue workers of your pets’ status: On your front door or in a highly visible window, use chalk, paint or marker to write the number and types of pets in your residence. Include their location in your home and the date that you evacuated.
• Leave plenty of water in a large, open container that cannot be tipped over.
• Leave plenty of food in timed feeders to prevent your pet from overeating.
• Do not tie up your pet in your home.


Angel and Kirby said...

That is all good info! Thanks for sharing!

The Cat Guy said...

Imagining a disaster and trying to find and care for all six cats gives me great anxiety. I hope I never have to experience that. And for that matter, I hope you don't either!

Jamie said...

One of the best site on pet disaster preparedness.Thumbs up.

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