Weather-related disasters are something you hope to avoid, but whether you live in a northern or southern climate the possibility of extreme weather is a reality. Our pets rely on us to provide them with everything they need to be safe and happy, and planning for an emergency is no exception. Here are five ways you can prepare your pet for a weather-related disaster.
Get a rescue alert sticker
In the event that you’re not able to return home during a weather-related emergency, these stickers can be placed in your window and will let emergency services know that there is a pet inside your house. The ASPCA provides free rescue alert sticker as part of their free Pet Safety Pack – you can order yours here
. If time allows, write “EVACUATED” on the sticker.
Have a list of pet-friendly places you can stay
If you know where you’d head in the event of a weather-related emergency, do some research in advance. Start by putting together a list of hotels, motels, or other places to stay that are pet-friendly. Next, contact local shelters, rescues, and boarding facilities to see if they offer emergency shelter in times of emergency. If neither of these options is available, find a friend or family who would be willing to take in your pet for a short amount of time.
Arrange an emergency contact
You never know when an emergency will happen, which is why it’s important to have an emergency contact in place. When choosing an emergency contact, keep a few things in mind:
- Your contact’s proximity to your home
- Choosing a person who is generally home during times that you are not
- Someone you would feel comfortable giving a set of your keys
In the event of an emergency, your contact will become the temporary caregiver of your pets or the person who transports them to safety. You can even swap responsibilities with the person so that both of your pets have a safety plan in place.
Have an emergency bag ready to go
When disaster strikes, every second counts so it’s important to have the essentials packed and ready to go. In this bag you should have the following items:
- Copies of your pet’s up-to-date vaccination and medical records
- Recent photos of your pet – in case you need to make a missing pet poster
- Contact information for you, your relatives, or another emergency contact
- A leash, collar with extra ID tag, and harness – if your pet uses one
- Enough food and water for two weeks – per pet, if you have more than one
- A well-stocked first aid kit with a book on basic pet first aid
- Necessary bathroom items – dog waste bags and a litter box with spare litter
Know what to do if you and your pet become separated
In the event that you and your pet become separated, it’s important to have a plan in place – this will help you stay calm and take action. There are three key things you can do:
- Pre-make some missing pet flyers: There are a number of free templates online or you can get creative and make your own from scratch.
- Put together a list: On it include the contact information for all of the local shelters and rescues in the potential evacuated area.
- Contact the company of your pet’s microchip: Ensure that all of your pet’s details are up to date. Many companies also allow you to report your pet missing so it will be flagged if someone searches the microchip.
By following these five tips, you can rest assured that you’ve done everything you can to make sure your pet stays safe in the event of a weather-related emergency.