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Disaster preparedness is never an easy discussion with families. Things get even more complicated when you have a four legged family member in the mix. Regardless, it’s an important discussion to have with your family. Even more important is having a plan to begin with and one that includes the safety of your pet, because if the situation isn’t safe for you, then it’s not safe for your furbaby.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Create a ‘go bag’ AKA an emergency kit.
  • Make an evacuation plan.

The Emergency Kit

If any of the items that follow are used on the daily and have their homes, make sure they’re easily accessible for when things need to happen FAST. Your emergency kit should include the following:

  • Food & Water + dishes for them
  • Photo(s) of you and your pet to prove ownership.
  • Medical records for your furbaby.
  • Hard case carriers for safe transport.
  • Walking accessories like a leash and harness.
  • A waterproof container for records and photos.
  • A bed and toys for your furbaby if accessible.
  • Up to date vaccinations, microchip, and collar tag.

The Emergency Plan

  • In the case you are not home, have a copy of your home key made and have it accessible to a close friend or family member who can act as backup pet parent. Make sure they know where they can locate the emergency kit in your absence.
  • Make a list of contacts for reliable friends and family who can fill those big shoes.
  • Look into hotels and motels that are pet friendly.
  • Practice the evacuation as a family with your pet so they grow accustomed to the transport.
  • The ASPCA offers a rescue sticker alert to help emergency workers find your pets. You can mark them as evacuated or have this sticker ready in case things don’t work according to plan: https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack

These tips are geared towards cats and dogs, so if you’re looking for natural disaster preparedness tips for livestock and other animals, we recommend consulting with The Humane Society.

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