Pet Care During Disasters
Plan your pet’s evacuation prior to the disaster to include asking others familiar with your pets to assist in the event you’re not able to. Let your vet know if someone else is authorized to make decisions regarding your pet’s care (i.e. surgery). Make sure your pet has current ID and vaccination tags and is *microchipped if possible. Fill out Pet Emergency Wallet card and Pet ID/Medical Information cards
Find a safe place for your pet ahead of time; make a contact list of hotels, motels, relatives and friends who will accept your pet as well as animal shelters and boarding kennels both in and out of the immediate area. Pet-friendly hotel chains by state can be found at http://www.1clickpethotels.com/.
Prepare a portable pet disaster supplies kit in a waterproof container in advance that contains the following:
Portable kennel (large enough for pet to stand up and turn around)
Medications (30-day supply)
First aid kit, including vet contact info and an authorization to treat your pets
Current pet photos (in case they get lost)
30-day supply of food and potable water
Food and water bowls
Copy of living arrangement contact list
Manual can opener
Brush or comb
Familiar toy, catnip, chews, owner scent (something familiar to comfort)
Feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior information and the name of your vet in case you have to foster or board your pets or your pet needs medical attention.
*Microchipping is a safe, effective way to permanently identify your pet. A tiny computer chip about the size of a grain of rice is injected just under the pet’s skin, just like a vaccination. The chip number and owner information is entered into an international computer database. Animal hospitals, shelters and humane societies across the country use scanners to detect the chip and contact the owner. Simply call the registry with any updates.
AS DISASTER APPROACHES
Use your contact list to determine where to go; evacuate early, taking your pets with you if at all possible. Don’t leave them stranded and helpless, not knowing when you’ll be able to return to them.
Make sure your pet is wearing securely fastened, current ID tags. Put adhesive tape on the back of the tag with a friend/relative’s contact info outside the immediate area if you can’t be reached.
Bring your preassembled waterproof portable pet disaster kit.
Don’t allow your pets to roam loose outside the house; they may get lost or hurt if area has been damaged.
Keep dogs on leashes and cats in carriers inside the house for a few days. If house is damaged, they could get hurt or escape and become lost.
Be patient and loving and try to get them back into their normal routine as soon as possible. Understand that they’ve been through an ordeal, too.
The information in this article was derived from the below websites. We encourage you to visit them for more detailed information.
http://www.hsus.org/ (search word – emergency or disaster)
http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/animalsafety.html (Animal Safety-Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared)
http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/firstaid.html (First Aid for Pets)
http://www.americanhumane.org/ (Animal Emergency Services)
http://www.avma.org/disaster/default.asp#events (Saving the Whole Family–downloadable brochure)
http://cyberpet.com/cats/articles/general/artad1c.htm (Why animal disaster preparedness?)
http://cyberpet.com/cats/articles/general/artad2c.htm (Providing for your animals’ needs during disaster times)
http://cyberpet.com/cats/articles/general/artad3c.htm (Animal behavior before and after disasters)
Thank you to Ward County Emergency Management for all of the above information