Here in the South, we are in the midst of hurricane season. In certain disaster scenarios, there may be little to no time to evacuate so planning ahead for our blended family of 6 and our dog, Zollie, has always been a priority.
Pets are family too and it’s important to remember them when you’re putting together your family’s emergency evacuation plan. Tornadoes, floods, fires and hurricanes are all potential disasters that can quickly displace your pets.
AKC Reunite, the largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service provider in the United States shares the following tips to help keep your pets safe during a disaster:
• Emergency Supplies. Create an easily portable and waterproof tote with emergency supplies and provisions that can be easily accessed if evacuation is necessary. Remember to fill waterproof containers with a week’s supply of food, medications, and drinking water. Also include a backup leash, collar, and ID tag, as well as food and water bowls.
• Organize Information. Make sure all necessary is information written down and ready to go in case of an emergency. Have a recent photo of the pet and owner together, a description of the pet, as well as an any proof of ownership, veterinarian contact information and medical and/or insurance records and feeding schedule information.
• Microchip. AKC Reunite recommends permanent identification by a microchip, along with enrollment in a pet recovery service. This can help reunite owners with their pets in the case he/she is displaced during a natural disaster. If your pet is already microchipped, be sure that the information associated with it is up to date.
• Take Action. Remember, the safest place for pets is with their owners. Be prepared to take action during an evacuation by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting. Always ensure pets are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date information.
• Evacuate. Never leave a pet behind. Most evacuations last only a few days, but sometimes it is not possible to return home quickly. Call hotels and/or shelters ahead to confirm pets are welcome. Download a free Pet Emergency Planning Guide.
For more information on Pet Disaster Relief, visit www.akcreunite.org.