EMERGENCY AND DISASTER PREP
Emergencies come in many forms and may require anything from a brief absence from your home to a permanent evacuation. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.
There are many options for your pets in the event of an evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your them. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards such as breaking windows, flying debris and falling buildings. Note that not all human disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time.
Step 2 : Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:
You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.
This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility. When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a
person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.
Step 4: Evacuation Preparation
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
Step 5: Geographic and Climatic Considerations
Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, hurricanes or floods? If so, you should plan accordingly.