The Importance of Having an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Pets
When it comes to disasters, remember: if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets.
Every state and every disaster is different. Understanding what your individual risk factors will be based on your location and circumstances will enable you to develop a basic disaster preparedness plan which includes your pets. The best time to prepare for disaster is before a disaster strikes.
Hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and flooding each present their own challenges and hazards. In each case, having a pet disaster preparedness kit ready to go is essential. In areas that could be threatened by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding in particular, it is important to have an evacuation plan in place and an understanding of pet-friendly accommodations which will accept your pets in a 100-mile radius in the event you need to evacuate. Your disaster preparedness plan should include all your animals- large and small.
In areas which could be impacted by tornadoes, it is important to take notice of tornado shelters and safe locations you can take cover with your animals. Have drills periodically to practice securing your pets and getting into a safe location at a moment’s notice, because people usually do not get much time to prepare once a tornado becomes a serious threat.
In all cases, follow evacuation orders and instructions from your local emergency manager. A full list of state emergency contacts can be found here.
Visit here for more pet disaster preparedness tips and instructions for making a preparedness kit.
Diane Robinson is the disaster services program manager for the Humane Society of the United States.