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Emergency Preparedness for Pets
The most important thing you can do to prepare for an emergency is create a disaster plan and practice it regularly. As you create a plan for yourself and your family, don’t forget your pets! spcaLA offers these tips to ensure your pets’ safety in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
- Dogs and cats should be microchipped and wear current ID tags at all times. This can make reuniting easier if you are separated from your pet.
- If roads are blocked, emergency services may not be available so familiarize yourself with pet CPR, resuscitation, and general first aid procedures. Your quick action could save your pet’s life.
- Try not to display stress and anxiety. Most animals can detect stress and this can cause otherwise calm pets to display aggressive behaviors.
- Continuously check pet structures and favorite hiding places for hazardous debris. Display “Pet Alert” sign in doors and windows or make your own by listing pets on a 3x5 card and displaying it prominently. By displaying “Animal Evacuated” signs authorities are alerted that all pets have been removed from the premises so emergency teams can respond where assistance is actually needed. Both signs are available at the spcaLA Marketplaces.
- Keep your pet’s vaccinations current. Pets may become disoriented and stray, or be housed in shelters with other animals, thereby potentially being exposed to infectious diseases. Alert local shelters immediately upon discovering that your pet is missing.
spcaLA also recommends using the following checklist to prepare a “Pet Disaster Kit.”
- Current copy of vaccination records
- Veterinarian’s contact information
- Photos of your animal(s) in case you become separated
- Collar, leash and carrier to safely transport your pet(s) (Extras are great to help lost/stray animals)
- Minimum of three weeks supply of your pet(s) regular food and bottled water
- Bowls, can opener and utensils for feeding your pet(s)
- Treats and toys to comfort and ease stress
- First aid kit (should include antiseptic, topical ointment, dressing and any prescribed pet medications, and a pet first aid book.)
- Soft muzzle
- Blanket or towels
- Disposable baggies to pick up after your dog(s)
- Cat litter, scooper and temporary litter box (disposable aluminum foil pans work well)
- Entrust a friend or neighbor to get your pet(s) to safety, should you be at work when disaster strikes
- A back-up plan to board your animal during a disaster (veterinarian, boarding facility, etc.)
Preparing for the worst may prevent the worst from happening.