In the event of a natural disaster, it’s important to remember to put our pets first. They are dependent on us as their caretakers and shouldn’t be neglected in these circumstances. That’s why we must be prepared and have a disaster plan in line to protect all members of the family. Below are some helpful ways to protect your pets at home during a natural disaster.
Keep an emergency kit on hand
Create an easily portable and waterproof tote with emergency supplies that you can easily access from your home or grab-and-go if you need to evacuate. Remember to have your phone fully charged, fill waterproof containers with a week’s supply of food, medications, and drinking water. Also include a backup leash, collar, and ID tag, as well as food and water bowls.
Organize all your important information
Make sure to have on hand a photo and description of your pet, as well as any proof of ownership, his or her Microchip number (be sure to verify your pet’s microchip enrollment information with AKC Reunite at 1-800-252-7894), veterinarian contact information, medical records, and insurance records.
Know of emergency management agencies in your area
In the event you need to evacuate, it’s also important to know of emergency management agencies, such as the AKC Pet Disaster Relief program. They are intended to help pet owners during evacuations, and can provide animal care services when a natural disaster hits if you have nowhere else to go. It’s also helpful to know where all your local pet-friendly shelters are located in case you need to seek refuge.
Keep your pets nearby during a natural disaster
Most importantly, never lose sight of your pets if you’re caught in a natural disaster. Make sure to have a designated safe meeting space for you and your family members. In the event you need to evacuate, verify that all pets are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification. Also, check to see if your pet’s emergency supplies are accessible and easily portable at a moment’s notice. To be safe, call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pets.