preparing for disaster

Cover these 5 important points when disaster strikes and you’ll help your pets stay as safe and stress-free as possible.

When a natural disaster strikes, there’s often very little time to react. It’s always best to take your dog or cat with you (with its own emergency pack), but sometimes the local authorities make that impossible and force you to leave your dog or cat behind in a disaster. In this event, follow these important steps until you, rescuers or neighbors can get back to rescue your animal companions.

1. Leave dogs and cats in a safe area of the house (away from electrical wires) but don’t leash them or lock them in one room. Do not turn them loose outdoors hoping they will survive. They may wander away in search of you or food, or succumb to hunger or dehydration. Give them access to top floors so they can escape flooding.

2. Leave toilet seats up (if there are no chemicals in the water) and fill up kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as several big bowls or containers full of water. It’s best to leave a 10-14 supply out if possible. Add Rescue Remedy or another flower essence to the water if you have it on hand. Your animal will need some emotional support at this time.

3. Fill up bowls and pots with kibble (wet food goes bad too quickly). Again, try to leave a 10-14 day supply spread out in various places in case your animal loses access to one area.

4. Ensure you have identification on your animals as well as stickers or signs in windows identifying the animals in your home that need rescuing. Have this signage ready in advance so you can quickly place it in two different locations (main floor and upper windows) in case location gets compromised.

5. Have friends’ or neighbors’ phone numbers on hand in case they can safely go in and check on your animals while you’re waiting for the “all clear” from your own rescuers.