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Disaster Preparedness:  Pets

 


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Pocket Pets - Birds - Reptiles - Horses

Pets and Disasters

Pets enrich our lives in more ways than we can count. In turn, they depend on us for their safety and well being. Here’s how you can be prepared to protect your pets when disaster strikes.

Click HERE for a short video on protecting your pets in an emergency.

Assemble a Kit for Your Pets

Whether you are away from home for a day or a week after a disaster, you’ll need essential supplies for your pets. Keep a separate kit for your pets next to your own emergency supplies kit. The kit for pets should include:

Medications and veterinary records

Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals can’t escape

Current photos of your pets in case they get lost during a disaster

Copies of vaccination and animal license records

Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan and can opener

Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions and behavior issues

The name and phone number of your veterinarian

Pet beds and toys that are easy to transport

Have a Safe Place to Take Your Pets

Plan ahead! If you are evacuated to an emergency shelter your pet will not be able to come with you because of state health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service animals who assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in shelters. Even the most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape or even bite or scratch during disasters or when they are transported to a safe place. So be prepared before disaster strikes.

Contact hotels and motels to check their policies for accepting pets and whether those policies include restrictions on the number, size and species of pets. Ask if “no pet” policies could be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of pet-friendly locations, including phone numbers, with your other disaster information and supplies.

Ask friends or relatives in nearby regions if they would be willing to shelter your animals temporarily in case of emergency.

Ask a neighbor in advance if he or she would be willing to take your pets if you are not home when an evacuation order is announced.

Prepare a list of kennels and veterinarians that could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers.

Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets during or after a disaster.

Make sure your pets have tags with your phone number and their names in addition to any required license tags.

Pocket Pets

Small animals (hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, etc.) should be transported in secure carriers suitable for maintaining the animals while they are sheltered.
Bring bedding materials, food bowls and water bottles.

Birds

Transport your bird in a secure travel cage or carrier.

In cold weather, wrap a blanket over the carrier and warm up the car before placing your bird inside.

During hot weather, carry a plant mister to mist the bird’s feathers periodically.

Bring a few slices of fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content.

Reptiles

Your snake should be transported in a pillowcase and then transferred to more secure housing when you reach the evacuation site.

If your snake requires frequent feedings, carry food with you.

Take a water bowl large enough for soaking.

Take a heating pad.

When transporting large lizards, follow the same directions as for birds.

Horses

Disaster preparedness is important for all animals but it takes extra consideration for horses because of their size, surroundings and transportation needs.

Prohibit smoking in and around stables and corrals.

Keep a fire extinguisher at each stable and corral.

Make arrangements for a horse trailer in advance in case disaster strikes. If you do not have your own trailer or do not have enough trailer space for all your horses, be sure you have several people on standby to help with evacuation.

Know where you can take your horses during an emergency evacuation.

Store your horse’s veterinary papers, photographs and medical information with your emergency supply kit.

Attach your horse’s name, your name, your telephone number and your veterinarian’s telephone number to the halter.

Keep an emergency supply kit especially for your horse that includes first aid supplies, water, feed and medications.

If your horse is unaccustomed to being loaded onto a trailer, practice the procedure in advance.

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