June is National Pet Preparedness Month and today I am going to talk about ways to easily create a plan on how to prepare for a disaster or evacuation that takes your pets into consideration. I remember when Hurricane Irene ripped through Vermont I heard heartbreaking stories on the news of pets being left behind and I swore when I got Fuzzy Wuzzy Bear that I would come up with a plan to ensure that none of my animals got left behind. I have since tweaked the plan since we have added Loki and Rosie to our household and I am going to share my plan with you so hopefully, you can create something similar.
- Plan for different types of disasters: I live in Vermont so my action plan includes what to do during things like Hurrican, Flood, Ice Storm, Fire and etc.
- Make sure your pets are properly identified: Identification is SO important! Make sure that your pets microchip information is up to date. If your pet is special needs it’s also a great idea to have a tag on their collar that states if they need special medication or if they are easily scared. Making sure their Rabies tag is up to date is also very important! It is also a good idea to have an updated picture of your pet in case you get separated. Most shelters require proof of ownership such as vet records or etc.
- Have an evacuation plan: Some shelters are pet-friendly and some are not so it’s important to research that ahead of time. I was unable to find any pet friendly shelters in my area so I have a list of pet-friendly hotels/motels within a certain mile radius but I also have a list of family members and friends both in town and out of tome who would allow me to either stay at their house or allow my pets to stay with them if we needed to evacuate.
- Store carriers and leashes in a designated spot: I make sure to always have a cat carrier and extra leashes I do not use on a daily basis stored in an easy to find spot in case we need to evacuate in a hurry.
- Have a designated person as a back up: While I rarely go out of town I have multiple designated people who know that if during a disaster if I am unable to get to my pet there is a plan set up that they will retrieve my pet for me. I have gone over my entire plan with them so they know where to grab the pets important paperwork and supplies. It is a great idea to put in writing that this person has permission to enter your home and care for your pets in your absence.
- Have a kit ready to go: I have an already stocked kit just for the pets that includes extra collars, leashes, extra medication, important paperwork, poop bags, pet first aid kit, and etc.
- Have well-stocked supplies at home: I try and have a decent supply of pet food, litter, and other supplies on hand at all times. Even though I currently raw fed the dogs I make it a point to also have canned and dry food on hand just in case. I also have gallons of water on hand at all times.
I have yet to have to execute an evacuation with my pets but we have been stuck at home for a few weeks due to ice storms with stores closed which is why I think its very important to also have well stocked supplies to be able to bunker down. I try to keep AT LEAST an extra 7 day supply on hand at all times. Since we tend to have to bunker down mostly in the winter I also have extra blankets, dog sweaters and even hand warmers in case we lose power.
A few years ago I did a post that gave you an up close look at what is in our bug out bag and I still stand by many of these items. This will help you create a bag that caters to both the needs of humans as well as your furry friends.