Friday, April 4, 2014

Preparing Your Pets for an Emergency

Do you have a preparedness plan in case of an emergency, like a fire, flood, or tornado? Your family's plan for emergency safety should include plans for your pets as well. With tornado season about to start in Texas, take some time to make sure you are ready and prepared.

Step One: Make a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
  • Include 3 days worth of pet food in a waterproof, airtight container and at least 3 days worth of bottled water.
  • If your pet takes medication, keep an extra supply in a waterproof container.
  • Keep a copy of your pet's medical records, vaccination records, and adoption paperwork ready to go.
  • Include a first aid kit with bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, flea and tick preventative, heartworm preventative, gloves, rubbing alcohol, and saline solution.
  • Have an extra collar, leash and ID tags handy.
  • Keep your pet's crate or travel carrier in a convenient location that you could grab easily and go when time is of the essence.
  • Have extra bathroom supplies on hand and ready to go: litter, litter box, scoop, dog waste bags, newspaper or puppy pads, paper towels, etc.
Step Two: Plan for What to Do in an Emergency
  • Communicate with your family about what your plan is for various types of emergency, such as fire, flood, tornado, power outage, etc. Know where your nearest shelter is, and if they will allow pets, if you must evacuate there in case of emergency. If pets are not allowed, consider other friends or family that could shelter you or consider pet-friendly hotel lodging. Finding out where these places are located before an emergency can save precious time when it matters most.
  • Depending on your emergency, determine if you must evacuate or shelter in place. Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for instructions from the local authorities, if necessary. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Plan with neighbors, family, and friends on what your emergency plan is and if someone would be able to take care of your pets if you were unable to.
  • Consider microchipping your pet, which is a permanent form of identification, should your pet  become separated from you.  
  • Gather contact information on local emergency animal hospitals, should your pet need urgent care.
  • Obtain "Pets Inside" stickers for your home's front and back doors. In an emergency, rescue crews would know to check for your pets inside of the home.
Step Three: Stay Informed
  • Be aware of inclement weather conditions that could pose risks to your family and pets.
  • Keep batteries in your smoke detectors and test them regularly.
  • For more information about emergency preparedness, visit