Pets are part of the family. They enrich our lives in in many ways. As a responsible pet owner, it is our task to make sure that they are healthy and safe. Like humans, animals are also vulnerable to disasters. When a disaster strikes, animals can be significantly affected. It is not uncommon for pets to get left out and be dislocated during evacuation.
Have a Plan
Having an emergency or disaster plan is the best way to ensure the safety of your entire family. It can greatly increase your chances of survival in case of disasters such as flood or fire, terrorist attack or tornado. As members of the family, pets should be included in your emergency plan.
There are some things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as preparing an emergency supply kit for your pet and setting up a pet care network system. Whether the situation calls for you to stay put in your home or evacuate to a safer place, you will need to develop a plan in advance for every family member – this includes your pets. Remember that what is best for you is also best for your pets.
Your emergency supply should include provisions that can last for at least three days. It should contain not only emergency supplies for the family but also for your feeds. Also stock up foods for your pet. Store your supplies in accessible locations of your house. It should be safe from moisture to prevent spoiling your pet foods. Regularly check your supplies for possible expired products. Be ready to improvise whatever is available in your surroundings.
In Case of Evacuation
If there is a need for you to evacuate your home, make sure not to leave your pets behind. Pets have very poor chance of surviving on their own and if they do survive, they can be dislocated and you may not be able to recover them when you return.
Usually, public shelters do not allow animals to stay. Plan in advance for possible shelters where there are provisions for your pets; consider staying with friends or loved ones that are outside your immediate area.
Make a pet buddy network that will be available to look after each other’s pet in case one of the member’s cannot personally care for their pets. You can ask your friends, neighbors or relatives to look after your pet when a disaster occurs and you are not around. You can also initiate a pet club within your immediate area so that there is shared responsibility in caring for your pets.
You may also need to consider attending pet first aid and CPR courses offered by St Mark James. These courses provide comprehensive guides on how to properly care for your pets. It also includes modules on how pet owners can ensure the safety of their pets during disasters. To learn more about it, you can contact your local St Mark James chapter for available training schedules.
Related Video to Disaster Preparedness with Your Pet