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If Hurricane Mathew (2016) and the latest category five-hurricane, Irma (September 2017) taught us anything, it's that natural disasters are bound to happen, they happen anytime, they happen rapidly and can have devastating long-term effects.
In the event of an emergency such as fire, hurricane, tornado, floods or terrorists attack, the animal casualties are often higher; this is because pet owners do not have the knowledge or rather the necessary skills of handling their pets in such situations. As pets have become an important member of your household, so is their safety and well-being.
Whether you decide to stay put during an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, the well-being of your pets will entirely depend on the emergency planning done today. Keep in mind that what is good for you is also good for your pets; to keep all members of your family safe during an emergency period, it's crucial that you have an emergency and disaster plan in place, not just for you but also for your pets.
Here are some of the actionable steps that you can take to ensure that you're adequately prepared for emergency management.
Preparation is an important task to undertake. Just like the way you do with your family emergency supply kit, you should also do the same for the pet. The first thing to consider is the basics of survival; what do you think is the most necessary item that your pet will need. Some of the basic items include food, water, and a towel to keep the pet warm. Also, if your pet is under medication, make a point of creating additional space for the drugs.
Here is a breakdown of the essential you need during preparation.
Food and water
Keep at least three day supply of food and water in an airtight and waterproof container. If you worry about the food going stale, you will be glad to know that there are specially manufactured emergency supplies that can last up to six months without going bad. However, ensure that the food is up to date, fresh, and has not clocked the expiry date.
If your dog is under medication, ensure that keep all the supplies in an airtight and waterproof container.
First aid kit
When preparing what to include in the first aid kit, it wise that you first enquire from the local veterinary office on what are some of the vital and appropriate medical needs for your pet. A typical first aid pet kit should include cotton bandage rolls, scissors, antibiotics, latex glove, and anti-flea/tick solutions. Alternatively, you can enquire from a first aid pet book for references.
Get a collar or harness with an ID tag, rabies tag, and a leash
Pet identification is not only necessary during emergencies, but also during other days; pets are bound to stroll away and get lost in the neighborhood. However, during disasters, it's common for the pets and the guardians to get separated.
To facilitate easy identification, consider placing a collar with identification at all times. You can also include an auxiliary leash collar and an ID tag on your pet's supply kit.
Also, for the medical safety of your pet, consider placing the pet's vaccination documents, medical records, registration and adoption documents in a waterproof plastic bag.
If your pet tends to remove the collar tags and leashes, you can consider microchipping your furry friend, and better yet, enroll it in a recovery database. However, this is undertaken by qualified professionals.
If you have to evacuate from your location, ensure that you`ve a practical evacuation kit for your pet; the evacuation kit should be safe, sturdy, and comfortable for the pet. Ideally, the pet should be able to have free movement in the kit, it should not constrain the pet, and should be large enough for your pet to stand, lie down and turn around.
If you're transporting sensitive pets such as birds and kittens, ensure that you carry a blanket to cover them, especially during the cold session.
Just like human beings, pets also need proper sanitary care. If you're to stay indoors, consider getting a grass pot doggy or a pet dog grass for easy cleaning. The potty grass is an all-natural and convenient pet potty solution that will minimize time spent on cleaning your pet. Also, it makes cleaning more convenient, as it will allow an easy way for pet owners to allow their dogs access the bathroom.
DoggieLawns are great for offering convenient, sanitary solutions to your pets; we offer a different grass patch sizes for your dog.
If you're to evacuate from your location, consider carrying sanitary items such as plastic trash bags, towels, and household cleaning solutions/disinfectants.
Picture yourself with the pet
In case you get separated with your pet, a picture of you with the pet will facilitate easier documentation and will allow the relevant authorities to identify your pet easily.
What to do during an emergency
Be prepared to assess the situation during an emergency. Depending on the nature and the intensity of the calamity, you will decide whether to vacate or stay put. You can tune in to the local TV or radio stations to get an update on what the current situation. If you're instructed to vacate, visit the nearest vacation center, loaded with all your stuff.
Create a getaway plan
If you’re to vacate, ensure that you conduct the necessary arrangement before leaving your place. If you're to book a lodging, secure a location that is ideal and convenient for your pets. In case of public shelter, ensure that your pets meet the minimum health safety standards .i.e. some public shelters do not accept pets that have not been vaccinated. You should also enquire whether the nearest public shelter accepts pets to avoid disappointment.
Develop a buddy system
In the event disaster strikes, while you're away, you should have someone who can take care of your pet. Whether it's a neighbor, relative, or friend, make a careful evaluation of your "designated" pet caregiver.
Staying up to date with the happenings in your locality is the best way of mitigating against the natural calamities. Stay informed on what might happen, and when it might happen. Also, you should be aware of the type of natural disaster that is likely to strike your local area.
It's also prudent to have the contacts of the relevant authorities in your local area.
Preparing for your pets makes sense, you should get ready now.