Consider Your Pets
If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household.
Many pets are killed during fires, floods, storms and other disasters because they are locked in homes, barns, or stables or left without food or clean water.
During disasters, pets are often left behind to fend for themselves, not out of malice towards their pets, but because their owners didn't make the necessary plans to protect them.
Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets and service animals.
Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you, if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that only service animals may be allowed inside.
Large animals and birds such as horses, cows, sheep, goats, llamas, peacocks, turkeys and chickens are particularly vulnerable. Getting them out of harms way is stressful in itself, but finding a place to shelter them may be very difficult.
Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area, pet-friendly shelters and veterinarians who would be willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency.
Food. Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
Water. Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.
Medicines and medical records. Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet's emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book.
Collar with ID tag, harness or leash. Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet's emergency supply kit. In addition, place copies of your pet's registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. You should also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as micro chipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
Crate or other pet carrier. If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation, tae your pets and animals with you provided it is practical to do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
Sanitation. Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet's sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water ton one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.
A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
Familiar items. put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
For more information about pet preparedness, visit www.ready.gov.
Listed below are talking points developed by FEMA that will help you in making you and your family as prepared as possible if there is a disaster in the area in which you live.
(2) Be informed
(9) Emergency kit
(10) Emergency money
(11) Fire safety
(12) Get involved
(14) Important documents
(15) Make a plan
(16) Medical supplies
(18) Stay or go
(21) Working together
Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.
Information was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with AARP, the American Red Cross and the National Organization on Disability.
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