September is National Disaster Awareness Month! Animals are effected by the same emergencies as humans, ranging from hurricanes, tornados, floods, earthquakes or more. BBB is here to help you feel prepared should a disaster occur – did you know that all BBB Care Managers are certified in First Aid and doggie CPR through the Red Cross? Yes, it’s true :))
1. Ensure that your pets have the proper identification tags on them. Should you and your pet become separated, it is essential to have some form of identification so that someone who finds your pet has a way to contact you and return him or her to you.
2. Have a disaster kit prepared. Your disaster kit should include the following items:
- Enough food and water to last at least five days.
- Medications and medical records that are stored in a waterproof container. This also includes your pet’s vaccine history.
- A pet first aid book and first aid kit.
- Cat litter box, litter, a scoop for the litter, and garbage/waste bags so that you can collect your pets’ waste.
- Leashes, harnesses and carriers to safely transport your pet.
- Recent/Current photos of you with your pets and pet descriptions so they can be identified if you become separated.
- Information about your pets’ feeding schedule, behavior issues, medical concerns/issues, and the contact information for your pets’ veterinarian.
Should a disaster occur when you are not home – make sure that you have a neighbor or friend who can get your pets from your home. If you use a pet sitting service – they could possibly help too.
3. If you need to evacuate, take your pet. What isn’t safe for you isn’t safe for your pets.
- It’s important to have a safe haven should you need to evacuate your home. Stay with friends and family, contact pet-friendly hotels or motels, consider boarding your pet at a kennel or vet office. As a last resort, contact your local animal shelter and they may be able to provide a foster home or shelter.
The ASPCA and Humane Society of United States have great tips regarding Disaster Preparedness. Check it out at: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness & http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/pets-disaster.html