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Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 @ 3:54 PM
Pets are often overlooked when people think about preparing for an emergency. But pets suffer from disasters just like their owners. Natural disasters like hurricanes, floods and fires often result in lost or displaced pets. Pet shelters are still overflowing with rescued animals from last year’s hurricanes, and many pet owners are still searching for their lost dogs and cats.
Additionally, a power outage or snowstorm can be nerve-wracking if you are not prepared. Just imagine if you ran out of dog or cat food in the middle of a hurricane! Simply planning ahead will help you and your pet be ready before an emergency happens.
You can build a pet emergency kit with very little money. You may already have most of the items available in your home — it’s just a matter of storing them in one place, like a backpack or plastic bin.
Set aside three to five days worth of water for your pet, in addition to what you are storing for your family. That means 1/2 gallon to a gallon per pet per day, depending on your pet’s size.
Store three to five days worth of kibble in an airtight container. If you store canned pet food, choose easy-open cans, or pack a can opener, as well. Don’t forget the feeding dish and water bowl!
Include items like antibiotic ointment, bandage and scissors, tweezers, cotton, flea and tick prevention meds, and alcohol wipes. Have medicines on hand if your pet is on prescription medication.
You should have a leash, harness, muzzle and collar, along with the pet carrier in a convenient spot. Adding a favorite toy, pillow or blanket in the carrier will help comfort your pet.
Keep copies of your pet’s adoption papers, immunization and medical records in a watertight plastic bag, along with your other important documents.
Set aside sanitation items as applicable, including cat litter, newspapers, disposable gloves, plastic garbage bags, and paper towels.
Evacuations are more common than most people think — they result from natural disasters, hazardous spills, fires and other perils.
According to Ready.gov, most evacuation shelters only allow service animals. Before you get that emergency evacuation announcement, it’s a good idea to make a plan on where you will go with your pet.
There’s a chance you may not be home when an emergency occurs, so the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that pet owners display a window decal or sticker indicating a pet lives in the home to help emergency personnel during rescues. You can get a free window decal by ordering the ASPCA’s pet safety pack.
You should also make arrangements with a friend or relative who can collect and look after your pet in case you are not home.
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