The American Red Cross states that a disaster plan is the best way to protect your family from the harmful effects of a disaster, and this plan must include pets. Your preparedness could save their lives! Of course no two disasters present the same situations, but many require evacuating your home. The Red Cross says that if you must evacuate, the safest thing for your pets is for you to take them as well.
The Red Cross recommends the following specific preparedness steps to help ensure the safety of your beloved pet in the event of a disaster:
- Do your research beforehand to determine a safe place you can take your pets—pet-friendly hotels, friends or relatives who might be able to take care of your pets, vets and boarding facilities, and animal shelters that provide emergency shelter are all possible options.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit for your pets that can be easily carried and that contains essential supplies such as medications and medical records, a First Aid kit, leashes and carriers, current photos (in case your pet wanders), food and drink supplies such as bowls, daily routine information printed out so that you can easily give it to someone who will be temporarily taking care of your pets, and your pets’ beds and toys (if they can be easily transported).
- Help emergency workers as they work to aid your pets. If you have a rescue sticker alerting people that you have pets at your house, make sure rescuers can see it and that it has all relevant
information. If you have taken your pets with you, if you can, write “EVACUATED” on the sticker so that it’s clear the pets are no longer in the house so that rescuers don’t waste valuable time looking for them.