While we do everything we can to protect our fur babies, nothing can prepare us for natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes and more. It’s always a good idea to prepare an evacuation plan for your family—and that includes your pets.
According to the American Humane Association, approximately 10 million pets are lost each year—and those numbers rise astronomically during unplanned disasters. More recently, Hurricane Florence reports describe overflowing animal shelters in North Carolina and the surrounding states. Though, caring people are always willing to help in times of need. According to CBS News, one good Samaritan drove a school bus to shelters to rescue as many animals as he could that were at risk from the storms.
We can’t control these unforeseen events, but we can be ready for them. In the event of an emergency, there are many things you can do to formulate a top-notch preparedness plan for your four-legged family:
1. Calm Before (and after) the Storm
If you know when the event may take place, remember to bring your pets inside well in advance and assure them that you are there for them. When you are stressed, your pets are stressed. Take familiar items with you such as your pet’s toys, bed or bowls to help ease their worry and remind them of smells that make them feel safe, even if you’re not at home. The key is to create a secure environment.
Microchipping your pet is the best and more permanent way to provide them with proper identification if you are ever separated. If any information changes, such as your address or phone number, be sure to keep everything up-to-date throughout their life. In addition, remember to update any collar tags with your dog’s name, your information and any health concerns they might have. Keeping a photo of your pet, their microchip information and/or license number on hand may also be helpful if they ever get lost.
3. Find a Safe Place
If you ever need to evacuate your family, make sure you find a friend or family member you can lodge with. You can also research hotels or pet-friendly facilities outside of your immediate area that might be available. Don’t forget to leave your pet’s information and an extra copy of house keys with a trusted person in your community so that they can evacuate your pet if you are not around and vice versa. Confirm evacuation plans with this person so that everyone is on the same page.
4. Emergency Kit and Supplies
In addition to your human family, your pet will also require supplies if evacuation is needed. ASPCA suggests storing an emergency kit ready at all times; one that is in reach and near an exit. You will want items such as extra leashes, a supply of food (Our fresh and shelf stable PantryFresh Chicken and PantryFresh Beef are great options to store for emergencies and travel!), clean water and bowls, waste bags and any medication your pet needs, and a first aid kit—we suggest speaking with your veterinarian as to what would be best to include for your specific animal.
Blog Post Written By: Jasmine Kemper
JustFoodForDogs Nutrition Consultant