Life-saving tips from the Humane Society of Missouri’s Disaster Response Team can keep pets safe and secure in times of disaster.
With power outages to tornadoes, fires to floods, disasters for Missouri residents are often unpredictable and unexpected. National Preparedness Month is the perfect time to put a plan in place for the whole family, which means pets, too.
From a countless number of rescues in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and more, the Disaster Response Team knows how devastating it is to see pets exposed to the perils of natural disasters, as well as how critical it is to be prepared for the unexpected.
These five tips could be the key to survival for your four-legged family members:
Make a plan
— Create an evacuation plan that includes your pet, and inform close friends and family.
— Identify pet-friendly places to go in times of distress, and make sure your pet has identification, including a collar with ID tags and an up-to-date microchip.
Build a disaster kit
— Include medications, medical records, leashes/harnesses/carriers/bowls, current photos and descriptions of your pets, a week’s worth of food and water, and anything that will reduce your pet’s stress, such as their bedding and toys.
Be sure to have a pet first aid kit, as well.
If you evacuate, take your pet
— Don’t assume your pet will be fine, even if you think you will only be gone for a short period of time. Never leave a pet behind if you evacuate.
— Keep a sturdy, safe crate or carrier on hand, and have a pet-friendly place that you can keep your pet while the cleanup ensues. This could include a hotel that accommodates pets, boarding facilities or a family/friend’s home.
Have an emergency veterinarian
— Identify a veterinarian outside of the disaster area ahead of time that you can take your pet to in case they appear to be injured or ill.
Listen for information
— Whether it’s over the radio or on your phone, listening and following local news outlets is key to receiving updates on where to go and what to do during an emergency.
Courtesy image. Used with permission.