As we’re in the midst of hurricane season, it’s time make sure that everyone in your home, including your pet, is prepared should you need to make an emergency evacuation. Most of us here in Florida already have some sort of general emergency plan in place, but for those with four-legged family members, it’s important to make sure that those plans include their safety as well.
When making emergency plans for any kind of natural disaster, attention and thought must be paid. And, if you’re a pet owner, they should be a part of your plans from the start. Don’t let them suffer because they were left as an afterthought. Care for pets in general can require quite a bit more effort, as they simply can’t do it for themselves. So, be sure to think ahead towards all of those possible obstacles you and your pet might face during a hurricane evacuation.
As your conversation and plans take shape, there are a few essential considerations to keep in mind that will aide in ensuring you, your family, and your pets are prepared. Here are a few things to consider, now, should you need to evacuate:
- Set Up Contacts – Long before you ever may need to call for assistance, be sure to set up an out of town contact who is willing to take you and your pet in. It’s so important to have a friend or family member as a contact in the event that you’re forced to leave your home. This will make a chaotic situation manageable and help to provide stability for both you and your pet.
- Check Supplies – Create an emergency kit for both you and your pet. Be sure it has all of the necessities such as water, blankets, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, radios, snacks and pet food, as well as any pet care items that may be specific to your pet’s wellness needs. It’s also best to include a spare collar and leash just in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- Secure Documents – Make sure you have a waterproof copy of all important documents. This includes ID tags, a photo of your pet, medical records, immunization records, etc.
- Review Emergency Plans – Once you have contacts set up, know your evacuation route, and have all necessary supplies ready, make sure everyone’s on the same page. Review your evacuation plans with everyone in your household, and don’t forget to include specific instructions for your pet as well.
While this is not a complete disaster preparedness list, it will help start the conversation and organize your emergency plans. Remember, your own checklist will vary depending on your pet and their unique needs. So, don’t leave prep to the last minute. With the weather still kicking up out there, it’s important to have a plan in place sooner rather than later.