Whether it’s a tornado or a house fire, most pet parents don’t consider their pet’s safety until an emergency is already happening. Small preparations now can save you and your pet precious time in case disaster strikes.
Keep your home safe
Check smoke detectors
On average, it is recommended to check them every month and replace their batteries every two years.
Note your pet’s hiding spaces
Remember that pets can be harder to find in stressful situations.
Practice safe habits around the home
Never leave lit fireplaces or candles unattended.
Keep a rescue alert sticker visible
Leave one by your front door so rescue workers know what pets to look for.
In case of a natural disaster
Established by FEMA, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day (NADPD) is held in May every year, while National Disaster Preparedness Month is every September. Both are great reminders to make sure your pets are ready in case your family has an emergency.
- Use a microchip or collar ID with up-to-date contact information
- Know where to look for your pet if they’re afraid so that you can evacuate faster
- Have a pet-friendly place in mind to go in case you have to leave your home
- Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation
- Take a pet carrier or crate with you for transport and safekeeping
- Basic first aid supplies
- A 3-day supply of bottled water and the pet’s preferred food, held in a waterproof container
- Safety harness and leash
- Waste clean-up supplies
- Medications and a copy of the pet’s medical records
- List of veterinarians and local pet care organizations
- List of the pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues
- Comfort items, such as a blanket or favorite toy, to help keep the pet calm and comfortable
|Emergency Disaster Hotline
|Support and relief information for your area, as well as places where you and your pet can go during a disaster.|
|Pet Poison Helpline
|This 24-hour animal poison control. Charges a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case.|
|ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
|Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. poison-related emergency consultations are available with a veterinarian or toxicologist for a $65 fee.|
|ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline
|Created to help pet parents who are grieving the loss of a pet, or need help establishing a relationship with a new pet.|
|Pet Travel Information
|Call for information on regulations and restrictions, pet container requirements, vet certificates, and clearing security.|
|The AVMA helps disseminate information within the veterinary community and among animal lovers and advocates to ensure an immediate and helpful response.|
|Ready.Gov is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower American's to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.|
In case your pet is lost
Contact local shelters, veterinary clinics, and animal control
These are the most common places a lost pet will be returned if found. Animal shelters and clinics are also able to identify your pet’s microchip ID and, if up-to-date, will be able to contact you.
Circle the perimeter of your home with a familiar call or nickname that you use for your pet. With each pass, try to move farther out.
Post to a local networking site, tape posters of your lost pet on trees and community commonplaces, and don’t give up hope.
|LOST PET RESOURCES|
|PetFBI.org||Pets Found by Internet: The Free Information Center For Lost and Found Dogs, Cats and All Other Pets.|
|Center for Lost Pets||Search to see if your lost pet has been found, or if the pet you have found has been posted as lost.|
|Fido Finder||Register a lost or found dog to be notified when there is a match.|
|Missing Pet Partnership||A nonprofit organization working to reunite lost pets and provide free education for pet owners.|
Want to help out?
There is always a need to support shelters since they may also be sheltering those that have become separated from their family.
Not sure what to donate? Here are some ideas:
- Blankets or towels
- Dog or cat food/treats
- Gently-used chew toys
- Leashes or harnesses
- Pet beds
Some of the simplest ways to help a local shelter include making donations and signing up as a shelter volunteer. If this seems like something you would be interested in, make sure to check with the shelter ahead of time so you can provide the support they need without unnecessary confusion.
Another often overlooked way you can help is by becoming a shelter advocate. Simply making a blog or social media page about your local shelters can encourage others to participate or adopt.