Animals are affected by disasters. One may remember the hundreds of stranded, lost, and homeless pets seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Many families prepare an emergency disaster plan, but not all of them remember to include their pets in these plans.
In the wake of recent hurricane and storm news, The American Red Cross advises the following when it comes to pets and emergency preparedness:
- Learn first aid for pets.
- Remember: if it is not safe for a human to stay in an area where there is a disaster, it will not be safe for an animal either. Learn which hotels in the evacuation areas allow pets and keep in mind that most emergency shelters for humans will not allow pets unless they are service animals.
- Make a list of kennels, vets, and friends or family that can care for a pet in the event of a disaster. Have a copy of the pet’s vaccinations handy in case a pet needs to be boarded.
- Run evacuation drills in a calm manner so a pet can calmly follow the routine.
- Make an emergency disaster kit for the pet that includes a leash, pet carrier, food, water, bowls, any medications, a picture of the pet, a first aid kit, important pet phone numbers, and toys.
- If there is a warning for severe weather, keep the pet indoors so he does not get lost, and make sure he is ready to go if there is an evacuation.
Emergency disaster plans are not just for humans. Find out more about making your own emergency disaster plan.