As September unfolds, it’s not only a time when the seasons begin to change, but also a poignant reminder that preparedness is a vital aspect of responsible pet ownership. September, designated as National Preparedness Month, serves as a timely prompt to underscore the importance of preparing for emergencies that can impact our furry companions. While many of us diligently stock up on emergency supplies and develop evacuation plans for our families, it’s equally crucial to extend this preparedness to our beloved pets. After all, they are not just animals, but cherished members of our households, relying on us for their safety and well-being when unforeseen disasters strike.
Pet parents should follow seven quick steps to ensure their pet’s safety during an emergency:
- Ensure your pet can be identified by both a microchip and collar ID tag, and that contact information is up-to-date. Pet owners can talk to their current veterinarians about microchipping their pets, or they can visit a clinic hosted by Bradshaw Animal Shelter.
- Prepare a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies and make sure it is readily accessible in an emergency.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies in advance and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry pictures of your pet in the event of separation. Pictures should be high-resolution and well-lit so that your pet is easily identifiable.
- If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
These seven steps can help ensure that all family members–including our beloved pets–are ready to face an emergency together. Families looking to learn more about disaster preparedness and safety for family members both two- and four-legged can visit the Ready Campaign website.