Every year we come across at least one hurricane or natural disaster here in Florida. These can become very serious emergencies. Natural disasters can cause all sorts of problems, from electricity going out, no water, or even evacuation from your home for an unknown amount of time. Each type of disaster requires measures to keep your pets and family as safe as possible, and the best thing to do is to be the most prepared as you can because you never know when something will happen.
Here are some ways you can prepare for an emergency or natural disaster.
1. Put up a rescue alert sticker: A pet rescue alert sticker can be put up on your front door. It has to be visible so that a rescue worker can easily see it. These stickers let people know how many pets you have in the house so in case of an emergency they can be rescued.
2. Find shelter: If you have to leave your home in the event of an emergency, you’ll need to have somewhere to go. Before a disaster occurs, find the nearest shelter that accepts animals. You DO NOT ever want to leave your pets behind during a disaster as they can become trapped or harmed by life threatening hazards. You should have the address of a shelter near you in case you have to leave quickly.
3. Emergency supplies and traveling kits: It’s best to have some pet supplies and an emergency kit prepared in case you have to evacuate your home suddenly. Even if you think you may only be gone for a night or two, it is recommended to have supplies for one to two weeks. Some recommendations from local and state officials to help minimize evacuation time include:
Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Also if you have a pet in a carrier write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on top of it.
The ASPCA recommends micro-chipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters and veterinary clinics.
What to include in your emergency kit:
7 days worth of canned or dry
Disposable litter trays
Litter or paper toweling
Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
Photocopies and/or USB of medical records
Waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet
At least seven days worth of bottled water
A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier
Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated)