Family Preparedness Friday

Don’t Forget the Doggie!

This week’s post comes to you from my remote location in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve had meetings here all week; which means I have been away from my family all week. I sadly had to leave my husband and children at home. Not let me clarify, the children in our household are fur-babies.

Holden, the chocolate lab, and Arie, the pug

Please meet, Holden the slightly chubby overly-lovable, chocolate lab and Arie the often completely wild and insane rambunctious, pug. I know that I am the same as many other animal owners when I say that my pets are part of my family.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive emergencies or disasters such as a fire, earthquake, flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning.

If possible, if an emergencies or disasters force you to evacuate your home, take your pets with you. However, if you are going to a public shelter, understand that animals may not be allowed inside. For example, Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only exception. Make plans for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.

Be prepared for an emergency or disaster. Assemble animal emergency supply kits and develop a pet-care plan that will work whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location. Keep in mind that what is best for you is typically best for your animals. Create kits for each pet for at least three days, and store the supplies in a pet carrier that’s ready to go.

Kits should include:

  • Pet identification securely attached and current photos of your pets in case they get lost
  • Medications, first-aid kit and veterinary records (stored in a waterproof container)
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that your animals cannot escape
  • Three days’ food supply (one ounce/per pound each day), potable water, bowls, can opener if canned food
  • Pet towel or blanket; pet beds and toys if easily transportable
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Cat litter/pan
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets

In the event of evacuation, do not leave pets behind. However, if it’s impossible to take them, make sure plenty of dry food and water are available.

For more information look at the EDEN Family Preparedness Course or FEMA’s Information for Pet Owners page.