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Disaster Safety

  • Disasters aren't something most of us are normally concerned with.  However, weather patterns and other things can change unexpectedly.  Are your family pets included in a disaster plan?  The American Red Cross, HSUS and ASPCA have a few tips.  Do NOT leave your pet behind in an emergency.  They have a much better chance for survival if they are with you in an evacuation situation.  Plan ahead for safe evacuation sites that will take both you and your pet.  Most evacuation shelters will not accept pets for safety and health reasons.  Identify pet friendly hotels ahead of time--in town and out of town, where you can seek shelter in an emergency.  Have all of your pets ID tags on them and up to date, including your cell phone number.  Microchip your pet.  This includes cats that never go outdoors.  Start a buddy system with someone in your neighborhood so that they will check on your animals during a disaster in case you aren't home.  Agree to do the same for them and make sure all vet contact names and numbers are available.  Take several pictures of all the animals and keep these pictures with your important papers that you would take with you if you have to evacuate (insurance papers for example).  Before a disaster strikes, talk to your veterinarian to see if he/she has a disaster plan.  If an animal is on long term medication, always keep a backup supply on hand, since a veterinary office may not be open for some time following a disaster.  Have assembled, and ready to go, a cat carrier for each cat in your household and a leash and harness for your dog.  Be sure and comfort your animals during a disaster. Prepare a "Grab and Go" disaster kit for your pets, some suggested contents are:
  • Manual Can opener
  • Pop top canned food for 1 week
  • Bottled water for 1 week and bowls
  • 2 week supply of any medications they need
  • A pet first aid kit
  • Disposable litter trays
  • Extra leashes
  • Blanket
  • Shot records
  • Full bodied pictures of your pets
  • A favorite toy
You can obtain a guide to emergency pet friendly housing from Family Dog Digest by calling 804-539-6477.

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