Pet Owner Disaster Plan
The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. Being prepared can save their lives.
Different disasters require different responses. But whether the disaster is a hurricane or a hazardous spill, you may have to evacuate your home. In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate; the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is likely to result in their being injured, lost, or killed.
Prepare now for the day when you and your pets may have to leave your home.
- HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO TAKE YOUR PETS
Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of state’s health and safety regulations and other considerations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only animals allowed in Red Cross shelters. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of a disaster, so plan ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes to do your research.
- ASSEMBLE A PORTABLE PET DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT
Whether you are away from home for a day or a week, you’ll need essential supplies. Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily
- KNOW WHAT TO DO AS A DISASTER APPROACHES
Often, warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At the first hint of a disaster, act to protect your pet. Planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely. But bear in mind that animals react differently under stress. Outside your home and car, keep dogs securely leashed. Transport cats in carriers. Don’t leave animals unattended anywhere they can run off. The most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, and try to escape, or even bite or scratch. And, when you return home, give your pets time to settle back into their routines. Consult with you veterinarian if any behavior problems persist.
Information provided by American Red Cross & The Humane Society of the United States.