Emergencies are some of life’s more difficult surprises – and we never know when they may strike. Some emergencies may require you leave your home for an extended period of time. That’s why being prepared for several types of emergencies is so important – it’s better to be ready than left scrambling to get family and pets to safety.
Here are some tips for potential emergencies:
1/ Display a pet alert sticker in a front window or on the door to your home where it is easily visible. In the case of a fire or other emergency, it will let emergency service personnel know the number and type of pets in residence. The ASPCA offers a free Pet Safety Packet. Order yours here: https://secure.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack
2/ Have a designated safe haven at a friend or relative’s home where you and your pets can stay. In the case of an evacuation, remember – if it’s not safe for you, then it’s not safe for your pets. It’s also a good idea to have a list with the names and numbers for your veterinarian, preferred kennels in case you need to board your pets temporarily, as well as local animal shelters that may be able to provide emergency shelter or foster care.
3/ Designate short- and long-term caregivers. While it’s never fun to imagine a situation where an accident, sudden illness or death may leave your pet alone, it’s always a possibility. Choose a trusted friend, neighbor or relative who lives nearby and give them an extra set of keys. If the worst should happen, they’ll be able to reach your pets and provide temporary or long-term care for them.
4/ Put together an emergency travel kit. In case of an evacuation, be sure to have an emergency travel kit stowed near an exit or in the garage. Be sure to include leashes, food and water, pet bowls, first aid kit, medications, medical and microchip records and recent photos of your pets in case you get separated.
5/ Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become frightened, disoriented or wander away from home in a crisis. Keep them close by in case you need to evacuate.