June 9, 2018

June Is National Pet Preparedness Month

Author: Lynn Gricus

Revise or Create Your Family Disaster Plan During National Pet Preparedness Month

While summer brings gorgeous sunny days at the park and fun at the lake with your favorite canine, it’s also the season of wildfires, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flooding. Since June is National Pet Preparedness Month, it’s a good time to plan or update an emergency or natural disaster plan for you and your pets. The following are some helpful tips to get started.

ID your pets. In the chaos during and following an emergency or natural disaster, it’s often easy to get separated from your beloved pets. Current microchip records and ID tags drastically increase the chances of a successful reunion. Make sure ID tags are easy to read, and include your address and phone number. It may be helpful to include urgent information, such as any medications or behavioral issues.

Plan for likely events where you live. Consider your local terrain and likely weather events for your area and decide on a location outside of the area where you and your pets can find safety in the event of an emergency. Make sure to have a list of alternative options with contact numbers. Plan for common emergencies such as house fires or electrical outages and have a list of friends, family, or local pet-friendly hotels where you and your pets may stay.

Make a first aid travel kit for your pets. Keep an evacuation kit handy to grab and go in case of an emergency. A backpack stocked with bottled water, food, dishes, a first aid kit, an extra leash and collar, poop bags, and medications could prove vital. Make sure to include litter and a pan for cats. Add treats or a favorite toy to help with stress.

Stay together. Disasters can alter familiar scents and landmarks and pets may become confused or lost. Make sure to leash your pets when outside and be alert to potential dangers. Keep your pets away from debris or hazardous terrain, and be aware that wild animals may have been displaced by the disaster and migrated into the area. Be aware that disaster-related stress may change a pet’s normal behavior and use caution.

The American Red Cross offers helpful tips on preparing your pets for an emergency. More information can also be found at FEMA.

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