What is a Pet Emergency Plan? + Why It’s Important!
About a year after my first emergency experience with my last kitty, I realized that I could never let something like this reoccur.
I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been. Because, at the time, I didn’t know how to accept what had happened and move on. So, in my mind, I knew I needed something in place to help me in such situations. And that something was a pet emergency plan.
Now, as we are 2 months into the hurricane season, our awareness is heightened.
Truth is, bad things happen. BUT, planning ahead is the key to keeping yourself and your pets safe if a disaster were to strike.
In this blog, we’ll talk all about the ‘pet emergency plan’; what it is, what it should consist of, and why it’s crucial to have these items in place.
What is a PET EMERGENCY PLAN?
A pet emergency plan is a blueprint of the necessary steps you need to take with your pets in case of an emergency or disaster. As pawrents, our goal is to ensure that our pets will be safe in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster.
Your emergency plan can consist of evacuation instructions, a pet emergency kit, an evacuation site, and the list goes on.
How do you make one?
- Microchip & ID your pets
Nothing’s worse than being separated from your pets in such times. Microchipping your pets will ensure reunification with your pets. Chances are they will scan the pet for a microchip first.
Tags are another ticket home. Ensure there you’ve added your contact numbers and addresses to your pets’ tags/collars.
- Identify pet-friendly evacuation shelters in advance
The key phrase here is ‘in advance’. Avoid making frantic last-minute calls after the disaster has struck. Hotels? Boarding facilities? Veterinary offices? Local animal shelters? Trusted relative or friend? No matter where it may be, NEVER leave your pet behind when you evacuate.
- Create a ‘buddy system’
What happens if you’re away from your pet when disaster strikes? It’s important to ask a trusted neighbor, relative, or friend who is willing to check on your pet in your absence, and vice versa.
Don’t forget to add this person to your emergency contact list as someone who can approve medical care for your pet in your absence.
- Make a ‘Pet Emergency Kit’ Checklist
Give each animal their own checklist. Your pet emergency kit will NOT be the same for a cat and a dog. Listed below are the basic items to include. Have them stored in on-the-go containers.
- Bottled water [at least a week’s supply]
- 1-2 weeks’ worth of your pet’s food
- On-the-go food and water bowls
- List of medications
- Vaccination records and medical history
- Veterinarian’s contact information
- Photos of your pet in case of separation
- Basic pet first-aid kit
- Carrier, leash, collar and harness
- Litter box
- Pet life jacket and paw protectors
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Emergency contacts
NB. Always keep your pet emergency kit up to date; change foods every 6 months, update contact information, etc.
Remember, the same way you’d plan to evacuate the other humans in your family safe is the same way you should have a disaster plan in place for your fur baby.
So tell us…on a scale of 1-10, if a disaster were to hit Randolph, Massachusetts, or your hometown right now, how prepared were you?
Let us know in the comments below 🙂