Written by: Camy Thumwood, Pet Safety & Disaster Preparedness Consultant. Author of Guide to Pet Safety “Saving the Entire Family.” Founder and owner of the PET ALERT Emergency Information System.
Originally Published on September 1, 2017
With today’s busy lifestyle we tend to forget that we must prepare for the worst. In today’s news headlines, the message is becoming even clearer. Disasters and medical emergencies do happen, and this is why all pet parents should take action not only for your family, but for your pets as well, as they depend on you for their survival.
Here are ten top things you should do if you have pets before, during and after a disaster:
- Always, always have identification on your pet! Even if your pet has a tattoo or ID chip they should still wear an ID tag. Don’t assume everyone knows your pet. The ID should include the pet’s name, your name and a contact phone number (preferably your cell) and note “Needs RX” if the pet needs medication daily or “Handicapped” if your pet is blind or deaf or has a difficult physical disability like bad arthritis, etc.
- Use an emergency information kit like the Pet Alert Emergency Information kit that can help identify all your pets and all vital information needed to protect them at home or while traveling or in the event something happens to you.
- Always have emergency phone numbers available and near your home phone or on your cell, in case of an emergency or a medical need. Even if you can’t call for help, someone else can and will know who to call. The phone list should include your veterinarian and emergency animal clinic nearest to your home, with your contact numbers (cell, work), plus someone that can care for your animals for more than a few hours, such as a friend or a pet sitter.
- Do a pet safety check in and around your home, to help lessen immediate dangers. Check for unstable objects, top heavy book cases, dangerous chemicals that are not contained, etc. You can find a list and more information to keep your pets safe from everyday hazards in the book “Guide to Safety.”
- Know your pet’s vital signs so you know if they are ill or need help.
- Know what to do if your pet is injured and how to transport them correctly. For instance, an injured dog is transported differently than an injured cat.
- Prepare a Poisonous Incident and First-Aid kit for your pet and include a First-Aid book that is appropriate for your pet for proper information during a medical emergency.
- Prepare a Disaster Evacuation Kit that includes all your pets and their needs for a minimum of 3 to 10 days. Make sure to include any medication that your pet requires in your kit and health records.
- Don’t assume your neighbors or friends will be available during an emergency to help you or your pets. You should also realize first responders will not know about your pets either and their presence may frighten your pet.
- The key to saving lives is to pre-plan so you know what to do “before, during and after” a natural or man-made disaster strikes in your area.
To help you understand what is needed and how to prepare for all your pets easily, I encourage every pet parent to use the “Guide to Pet Safety” for the vital information it teaches you. This handbook provides step by step instructions to complete your disaster prep list above and much more to be pet-safe 24/7.
For more information, visit:
“Protecting Pets like Family 24/7 and Safeguarding First Responders”