Making plans, kits for pets can aid in emergency preparedness
Don't wait for a disaster to strike - include your pets in your family emergency plan (click to view larger image)
Story by: Shandi Dix
Don't forget about Fido, Buddy or Princess when your Family takes cover in the event of an emergency –
Ready Army has tips to incorporate your pets into plans and provisions for emergencies.
"Creatures that rely on us in the best of times can't help themselves when disaster strikes," said Erik Stewart, Installation Emergency Management specialist. "Good advance planning could prevent tragedy, worry and risks you or others might take to affect a rescue."
Stewart suggests having your pets' identification tags up to date and secured to their collars. Microchipping your pet is another form of identification for your pet. Adding a tag with your evacuation information also may be good idea.
When pets sense danger they tend to run away, so it's advised to keep them indoors; not tied or confined outdoors.
"Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid," Stewart said. "Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm."
The Humane Society of the United States said, "Animals turned loose to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water or accidents. Leaving dogs tied or chained outside in a disaster is a death sentence."
Behavioral changes can be seen in pets following an emergency due to trauma.
"Keeping close contact with them will make them feel safer," Stewart said. "Keep your pets on a leash and away from others until you are sure they are back to normal."
When preparing an emergency kit for your Family, also consider your pets. Pet kits should include food, water, leash, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, can opener, food and water dish, first aid kit, newspaper for sanitary considerations, favorite toy and blanket for comfort. These items can easily be packed in a travel kennel or in a bag or backpack.
For more information, visit www.fema.gov/plan/prepare/animals.shtm.
Last Updated: 05/29/2013 10:28 AM