Emergencies can come at the worst possible times and when you’re least expecting them, sometimes requiring a permanent evacuation from your home. These disasters can come in many different forms, and there are certain preparations you can do to ensure you and your pet are safe. Petplan have put together some simple steps to allow you to be ready next time there is an emergency.
The key to everyone being safe in an emergency is preparation. Your initial step should be arranging a safe haven for you and your pets in the event of an evacuation. Remember, that if it isn’t safe for you, than it is not safe for your pets so never leave them behind. Some areas that may accept pets in an emergency are:
- Boarding kennels
- Some animal shelters provide emergency shelter
- Accommodation outside your immediate area that accept pets
- Friends or relatives
Depending on the type of emergency, your pets may be scared and sometimes hide or run away, so it is imperative that they are microchipped as soon as possible.
In the case of a major disaster meaning you must evacuate your home, an emergency kit and supplies could be the difference. Even if you think you may be only gone for a day, always prepare for the worst case scenario. To minimise evacuation time, take these simple steps beforehand:
- Get your pets comfortable wearing their collars all the time as if they do get scared and escape, they will have correct contact information on them. Their ID tag should include your name and contact number as well as your pet’s name.
- Have your pet’s microchipped immediately. Microchipping is slowly becoming mandatory across Australia, however it could be the difference in getting your pet back or not.
- At the first sign of a storm or a disaster, bring your pets inside to reduce the risk of them running away due to being frightened or scared.
- Have an emergency kit stored near an exit with a clear label and make it easy to carry. An easy way to prepare an emergency kit for your pet is to buy one designed for people and add pet specific items. Items that you should consider having in an emergency kit are:
– Pet first-aid kit and guide book
– Phone numbers of your nearest veterinarian, poison control centre, and animal shelter
– A week’s worth of canned food or dry food.
– Disposable litter trays and litter or paper towels.
– Disposable garbage bags
– Feeding dishes and water bowls
– Extra collar and leash
– 2 week supply of any medicine your pet requires (make sure it is up to date) as well as medical records kept in a waterproof bag
– A week’s worth of water for each person and pet
– A chew toy for your dog to keep them calm
If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or fires, you should plan beforehand. If you are within a high risk fire danger area, read our article on Bushfire Bobby for support. In other disasters, establish rooms that could be used as safe havens – they should be clear of windows and other possible hazards, as well as easy to clean floors such as tiles and basements. These rooms should also have access to fresh water. Fill yup a bathtub or sink as soon as possible in the case that you lose power or access to fresh water. In the event of a surprise flooding, choose the highest possible room you can find with access to counters and shelves to keep you and your furry friends out of the water.
In addition to all the information above, it is important to include in your emergency kit anything your veterinarian may have suggested that is specific to your cat or dog. Always keep the supplies out of reach of children and make sure that you constantly update and replace items to ensure they are not expired when you may need them most.