Sunday, September 23, 2018

National Preparedness Month Day 23--Pet Preps

As we've seen in countless disasters, the need to make special preps for pets usually makes the evening news.  Whether you have household pets or livestock, prepping ahead of time for emergencies is vital if you want to be able to evacuate them from the scene of a disaster like a flood or a wildfire.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Have a "bug out bag" for your pets.  Include a crate or cage, extra food, bedding, a leash, an ID tag with your contact info on it, pee pads, muzzle, registration and vaccination records, water bottle/bowl, towels, garbage bags, etc.
  • Microchip your pet to ensure that if they are lost a local vet will be able to identify who they belong to.
  • Know where you would be able to keep your pet in the event of an evacuation.  Does the hotel you are going to allow pets?  Does the emergency shelter in your town allow evacuees to bring pets with them?  Will local kennels shelter your pets if you can't take them with you?
  • Will your method of transportation out of a disaster area allow you to take your pets with you?
  • Are you skilled in basic animal first aid and have an animal-specific first aid kit on hand?
  • Does your county extension office/livestock management agency have a disaster plan for area livestock?
  • Do you have the equipment and means to evacuate your livestock ahead of a disaster?
  • If you do evacuate your livestock where will you put them once you leave the area?
  • If you must leave your pets or livestock behind, have you left them a way to escape (animals will often find higher ground on their own), taken off any harnesses or leads so they won't get tangled on anything, left food and water available for them, etc.
  • Are your pets/livestock vaccinations up to date?
  • Do you have a way to keep snakes/birds/other reptiles warm during and after evacuation?
  • If you need to look for your pet after a disaster, do you have recent photos of them plus all pertinent information (age, breed, etc) that can be put on a flyer?

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