Ready-Pets-Go! Disaster Prep
Ready-Pets- Go! is an easy 11-step emergency preparedness plan for households with animals in the family. Ensure that your family is ready to care for your pets when the unexpected unexpected happens!
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If you evacuate, take your pets!
The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets if you evacuate is to take them with you. If it’s not safe for you to stay in a disaster area, it’s not safe for your pets. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost, or killed.
Always keep a collar and tag on those animals that should normally wear collars.
This includes cats that never go outdoors. During a disaster an animal can escape and a collar and tag increases your chances of getting the animal back. On the tag, include your phone number and address. You may want to consider tattooing or micro chipping your animals as a more permanent form of identification.
Identify several possible locations where you can take your animals should you have to evacuate. These would be places that would not likely be affected by the same disasters that would hit where you live. This would include boarding kennels and veterinary clinics with boarding space. Don’t forget to consider friends and family members too. Look for hotels/motels that accept animals. It is important to know that Red Cross evacuation shelters will not allow animals, other than Seeing Eye dogs and other recognized service dogs.
Start a buddy system with someone in your neighborhood, so that they will check on your animals during a disaster in case you aren’t home. Agree to do the same thing for them. Exchange information on veterinarians and have a permission slip put in your file at the vet, authorizing your “buddy” to get necessary emergency treatment for your animal should you not be able to be reached. If someone watches your animals while you are on vacation, talk with them about a disaster plan to be used to evacuate and care for your animals in your absence.
Other preparation to strongly consider:
- In addition to your regular supply of animal food have at least a weeks supply of food on hand to be used during a disaster. Store the dry food in an airtight/water proof container. If you use canned food, buy the flip top cans or have a can opener with your disaster supplies. Continue to feed your animals the food they are used to and put it out as close to the normal time as you can. Keeping them on their regular routine, the best you can helps minimize the stress they might be feeling. If you feed canned food to dogs and cats, reduce the normal amount by half (supplement with dry food) to reduce the possibility of the animal getting diarrhea.
- You should have at least a weeks supply of water in storage at all times for your animals. It is important to not let animals drink flood water or any other water sources that may be contaminated as a result of a disaster. If you are drinking bottled water or purified water during a disaster that is what your animals should be drinking too.
- Take several pictures of all the animals and keep these pictures with your important insurance papers that you would take with you if you have to evacuate. Store the pictures in a reseal able plastic bag in case you have to post them in the rain.
- Talk to your veterinarian to see if he/she has a disaster plan. Your animal may need medical attention after a disaster has struck and you need to know where to take your animal. Keep a first aid kit and first aid book in your disaster kit for your animals.
- If an animal is on long term medication, always keep a backup supply on hand, since a veterinary office may not be open for some time following a disaster. If the medication needs to be refrigerated, keep an ice chest on hand to store it in, in case the electricity is off and you are unable to use your refrigerator.
- Have assembled and ready to go, a cat carrier to evacuate each cat in your household. A carrier would then be used to house a cat if you have to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Be sure to have a shoe box size litter box and a food and a water dish to use in the carrier.
- Have a harness and leash for each of the dogs in your household. If you have to evacuate, dogs can become frightened and if you only have a collar around their neck, they may be able to pull away from you and have the collar slip over their head. A harness will allow you to securely control your dog. If your dog rides in the car, always have a leash in the vehicle. A disaster may occur while you are away from home, and if you should have to abandon your car, you want to be able to keep your dog safely controlled.
- Be sure and comfort your animals during a disaster. They are frightened too, and having you near to give them a hug will help. It will probably do a lot to help you too. If an animal is not ready to be comforted though, do not force it. This is especially true for cats. Let an animal come to you when it is ready.
- Lollypop Farm is located at 99 Victor Road in Fairport, off Route 31. You may need to visit after a disaster to look for a missing animal. It is important to start looking for a missing animal as soon as you realize it is gone as space may become an issue with large numbers of displaced animals that arrive during a disaster.