Pet Safety Week: Disaster Preparedness for Pet Families

By Crystal Newton on May 7th, 2014 11:30 AM

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Identify Evacuation Locations

Most human evacuation shelters do not allow animals.  If a disaster forces you from your home and you know that you have a safe place to shelter them, bring your animals with you.  It is the safest choice for you and your pets.  Identify pet-friendly hotels, boarding kennels and loved ones outside of your immediate area that could accommodate your pets in an emergency.

Identify Pets with Tags and Permanent Microchips

A microchip, a tiny tracking device, is one of the best ways to help lost pets find their families.  Veterinarians and many animal control agencies offer the service.  Remember to update the microchip information if you move, get a new phone number or change emergency contacts.

Enlist a Friend or Neighbor

Suppose that you were away from home and a disaster struck.  You might not be able to get home to feed or care for your pets, especially if they are behind disaster lines.  Exchange keys and disaster plans with a trusted neighbor who can remove your animals in case of an evacuation.  Make sure your trusted neighbor is familiar with your pets.

Assemble a Disaster Kit for Each Pet

A disaster kit contains food, water, medication and other supplies you may not be able to get if roads and businesses are closed.  Assemble one for each animal in your household and keep it near an exit so it can be asily be grabbed if forced to leave.

Take Photos of You with Your Pets

If separated from your pets, photographs can prove ownership in order to reclaim them from a shelter.  Keep photographs in your wallet and disaster kit.

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