||Disasters & Pets
- Preplan for two possibilities:
- what to do if you must evacuate
- what to do if you remain in your home
- Most shelters do not accept pets.
- Check with your local animal services, disaster preparedness office, humane society, or vet to find out what the situation is in your area.
- If you plan to stay at a motel, check in advance to find several that will accept pets. (Collier County Emergency Management's list of pet-friendly hotels in Florida)
- Ask about any limitations on the number, size, and type of pet.
- Another option is to board pets at a kennel, vet's office, or with friends or relatives. Verify in advance that they are not in an evacuation area and that they can safely house your animals.
- What to have on hand:
- Make two waterproof "info baggies", one to keep with you and one to tape securely to your pet's carrier. Include:
- copies of your animals' license and vaccination records
- a recent photo of your pets, preferably with you in the picture
- a two week supply of any medications
- a two week supply of your pets' food
- a two week supply of drinking water for your pets
- unbreakable food and water dishes
- pet carriers (familiarize the animals with them far in advance) and a cover for each
- for dogs, extra leashes and leads, newspaper and baggies
- for cats, kitty litter & box, scoop
- Collars and ID:
- Make sure dogs and cats are wearing identification tags that list your phone number and perhaps that of a friend.
- Never leave a choke collar on a dog. They're for training only and pose a serious strangulation risk otherwise.
- Take at least one extra collar for each pet.
- Fluorescent tape on collars will make the pets easier to spot with a flashlight in the dark.
- If you'll be staying home, plan where to keep each pet.
- Move cages away from windows and objects that could fall on them.
- If pets must be confined, make sure the room is pet-proofed so they don't harm themselves.
- If flooding is a possibility, place caged pets on counters and make sure others will be able to get to areas above the water level.
- Make several copies of your disaster plan(s) so you don't forget anything when the time comes.
- Keep all pets indoors.
- You can't control nature.
- Your pet may act unpredictably.
- Pets may become frightened.
- They may attempt to hide or flee. Be especially careful when opening windows or doors.
- Pets that appear calm may startle easily, or simply be very calm.
- Approach pets cautiously, especially if they are nervous or panicking.
- Before allowing pets outdoors
- Thoroughly check the area to determine that it is safe.
- Make sure enclosures are sound.
- Keep pets leashed and make certain they're wearing id tags for several days when outdoors.
- Damage in the area may confuse your pet.
- Watch for displaced wildlife and strays.
- Normally safe waterways may be contaminated as may standing water.
Copyright © 1997-2005 Marianne Cowley
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