June is Disaster Preparedness for Pets Month

Image00062June 1 heralds the start of the Hurricane season in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Because weather and other emergencies can and do happen, it’s critical for pet guardians to have a pet disaster kit on hand that’s loaded with all necessary supplies in preparation for hazardous weather, fire and other perilous conditions. Since Tropical Depressions can suddenly develop and may quickly morph into dangerous hurricanes and tornedos, it imperative for families to have a disaster plan in place. Having a pet disaster kit on hand can easily save the lives of our beloved companion animals.

Where to purchase or how to make a pet disaster kit and Prepare for Emergencies:
Amazon.com carries a selection of a wide variety of pet disaster preparedness kits that range from nominally priced simple kits to more costly ones that hold just about anything you would need. However, it is extremely simple to make one yourself.

Get an easy-to-carry waterproof container to store pet food, bottled water, a water dish, feeding bowl, spoons, a favorite toy, a leash and collar with an identification tag, pet beds or a blanket that's easy to transport. In your kit include information about your pets’ feeding schedules, information about any medical conditions or behavioral problems that your pets may have. If your pets have chronic medical conditions and need prescription medications, speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to be able to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines to which you may not have access in the event your community is hit with severe weather. It is also important to include in your kit your veterinarian's contact information in case you have to foster or board your pets.

Image00792It’s a good idea to include in the kit a nail trimmer, a digital thermometer, Vaseline, a favorite cat or dog toy, a flashlight and several jars of meat and broth baby food in a pet emergency kit. Some pets may become extremely nervous during an emergency and refuse to eat their regular diet. Baby food can be quite tempting for a frightened pet and may even get them interested in the food you normally serve.

Also include in your pet disaster kit a list of the addresses and phone numbers of pet friendly hotels outside of your immediate area. And if you get notice of an impending disaster, make your reservations in advance. Additionally, prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians that will be able to board your pets in an emergency. It is also wise to include proof of ownership of your pets.

Please note that when an evacuation is suggested or becomes mandatory that most evacuee shelters do not accept pets. Do not assume that the local animal shelter or pound will gladly care for your pet, since these facilities are generally overcrowded to begin with.

Never leave your pets behind if you get an order to evacuate. When you return home you may not be able to find them. This is a compelling reason to have your pets’ microchipped to facilitate a happy reunion in the event they go missing.

Planning and preparing for emergencies in advance will help pet guardians to deal with any disasters that may suddenly strike. Having a pet emergency preparedness kit stocked and ready to go will not only save time and lessen anxiety; it will also help to save your pets ’ life.