Preparing Your Pet for a Disaster

December 2nd, 2013

Disaster-PetTo most pet owners their cat or dog is an integral part of their family. If you take the time to prepare your human family for natural disasters or major accidents, like house fires, then you should prepare the members of your furry family too. The probability of your pet surviving a catastrophe depends on whether you have a well-defined plan to protect him.

It is advised that you should put your own safety before the safety of your pets.

Evacuating with Your Pet

Your pets depend on you during a flood. Do not leave your pets behind if you evacuate your home and be sure that while in transit you transport your pets properly. If you are going to an evacuation centre then be sure they accommodate pets or seek out an alternate location that is safe for your entire family. Plan ahead and know which evacuations centres accept pets.

Evacuation Kit

  • Leash
  • Harness or collar
  • Muzzle
  • ID tags
  • A transport crate and blanket
  • Sufficient food and fresh water
  • Pet Medication
  • Dog waste bags
  • Paper towels for accidents
  • Pet First Aid Kit. Build your own with our DIY Guide.

Floods

If you are forced to leave your pet at home during a flood do your best to keep them safe. Leave them inside your house with the ability to move around. If your house is two levels shut the doors of the downstairs rooms so your pet stays upstairs. Leave plenty of food and fresh water for your pet in case he is stuck there for a while and, if possible, leave food on the second level of the house.  Put a notice on the door advising people that your pet is in your home.

Whether your pet is with you or left at home, equip your pet with a pet life vest so if he is forced to swim he will have a better chance of survival.

Cyclones & High Winds

If you are forced to leave your pet at home during a cyclone do your best to protect them. Leave your pet in the safest room in the house and shut the door. The bathroom is often the safest room in your home as it typically has the smallest windows. Leave your pet with plenty of food and water. Put a notice on your front door advising people that your pet is in your home and what room he is in.

If there are high winds in your area keep your dog indoors. Be sure that your gates and fences are secure so that they don’t blow open or over leaving an escape route for your dog.

Earthquakes

No matter where you are – drop cover and hold on! Your pet will likely panic so do your best to protect him but remember that he does not understand what is happening and may try to bite or scratch you if you try to restrain him. Pets are typically quite good at finding safe places to hide so if he escapes from you do not chase after him until the earthquake subsides.

If you live in an area prone to earthquakes consider putting your pets bed in a place that will be safe in the event of an earthquake, away from heavy items that may fall or items that can break and create a hazard.

Bush Fires

When it comes to bush fires the best thing to do is be prepared and evacuate early. If you know there is a chance of a bush fire in your area keep your pet in a fenced area where he will not wander off. We do not recommend that you stay and defend your home but if you do then keep your pets inside and in a secure room.

House Fires

The best thing you can do when it comes to house fires is prevent them! If you have cats or dogs do not leave open flames lit unsupervised. Candles, fireplaces, and small BBQs can be knocked over by your pet and could start a house fire.

If you are home when the fire starts do not go into a house fire looking for your pet. Get out of the house as quickly as possible and notify fire fighters that your pet is trapped in the house.

As many house fires start while people are away from their home be sure that you fit your house with a fire detector that automatically dispatched fire fighters to you house. Advise the company that you have pets that are at home during the day.

Affix a sticker to the window by your front door that advises fire fighters as to how many pets are in your home. This is common practice in North America.

Plan ahead. Be prepared. Practice.

You never know when disaster will strike so make a plan today to protect your family and your pet in case of an emergency. Be sure to practice your evacuation plan and check a number of different routes to safety. Remember that in a real life situation people and pets will be panicking and it is likely to take longer to execute any plan in an actual emergency than it will in your practice drill.

Consider protecting your pet with Petplan Pet Insurance.

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