Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

We just heard about the Earthquake in Virginia, and some felt it here in Ohio.  What about Hurricane Irene that could hit the east coast?  What about a tornado or flood?  What if you had a fire in your home?  You know what you need to do to keep your family safe....what about your pets?

Most people try their best to rescue their pets in the event of a fire or natural disaster.  Here are a few tips to help keep your pets safe:

1) Have a plan!  Keep collars & leashes handy.  Have a carrier for each small pet/cat if you can.  Pillow cases also work in the event of an emergency for a short time.  When attempting to collect pets during an emergency, try to remain as calm as possible.  They will pick up on your fear & anxiety, making it harder to catch them.  REMEMBER-SAFETY FIRST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

2) Prepare an emergency kit for your pets in a waterproof container.  Include pictures of your pets along with their descriptions, a recent vaccination history (including rabies), a few days supply of any medications, a few days supply of food, a gallon of water, and bowls for food/water.

3) Know the location and phone number of the nearest 24 hour emergency veterinary hospital in case your pet is injured during the emergency.

4) In case you cannot return to your home for awhile, keep a list of places in the area where you can either board your pets, or reside with them if necessary.

5) Oftentimes during an evacuation or emergency that forces you to flee from your home, you may not be able to take your pets with you.  Once the danger has passed, put out the word that you are looking for your pets.  Contact area animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and local fire and police.  Give them a detailed description of your pets (pictures help!) and your contact information.  Check in with shelters often to see if your pet has been turned in.

One of the best things you can do to help your pet is to have them microchipped.  Pets can't talk, and collars and tags can fall off or be removed.  Microchips are permenent forms of identification.  When a pet is found, shelters and veterinarians will scan the pet for a microchip.  If the pet is microchiped, the scanner will read a number, which is then called into the company and the owner can be located.  However, please make sure you keep your contact information up to date.  A microchip is no good if the company does not have current contact information.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your pets safe during a natural disaster or emergency.