June is National Pet Preparedness Month, which is a great time to convey the message from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): don’t forget to include your pets in your family’s emergency plans. While it's not a fun topic to think about, a little planning ahead can make all the difference if something unexpected should happen. Read on for a few tips to have in your mind regarding your pets, if something should happen.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) recommends keeping your pets in mind, for your peace of mind, as well as the emergency responders, if they are there to help you. They recommend keeping a simple 3-part plan in place in case of emergencies. They are:
- Make a Plan.
- Build an Emergency Kit.
- Stay Informed.
Here are the elements to consider for each part regarding your pet.
Make a Plan
If you prepare, you are aware. As you go through emergency planning with your family, be sure someone oversees the dogs, cats or other pets that live in your house. Thinking ahead always pays off. Be sure to include all family members. This is a great time to discuss with your family members what should happen if there was an emergency. It’s important everyone knows the plan. Anticipate where you will go. Then come up with a back-up plan. Develop a buddy system with your pets in mind. Things to discuss with your family and should be in your plan are:
- Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Where will you go, should you need to leave the premises?
- Develop a buddy system. Look for friends and neighbors to rely on, if you cannot take care of your pet.
- Have your pet microchipped. If you were separated, this would be a great way to be reunited.
FEMA also recommends having your pet information gathered in one place. This is a perfect opportunity to remind you of our FREE downloadable “My Pet Emergency Info Sheet” available to you. This is one page you fill out prior to any emergency. Download and fill it out.
You never know what emergency might happen. In our case, our dog was bitten by a rattlesnake. If this would have been filled out, we would have known where to go. Read our blog where we wrote about October is Pet Safety National Safety Month.
Build a Pet Emergency kit
What is in your “go bag?” Don't forget to take something for the dog. Take food for yourself, your family and your pets.
Pet items you should have in your safe place, or ready to take with you, in case of emergencies include:
- Medicines, if needed
- Collar with ID tag and harness and/or leash.
- Crate or pet carrier
- Litter box (for cats)
- A picture of you and your pet (should you get separated)
- Familiar items
Check out the INFOGRAPHIC below for a visual of the items you need!
Bring something with you to listen to the news on. Whether that be a television, portable radio, your phone or other device that would work if there was no electricity. You may also want to visit www.ready.gov for more ways you can be prepared for emergencies.
You should already have a plan in case of an emergency. Then a backup plan, to that plan, in case it is no longer valid. Develop a buddy system with you and your neighbors, friends, and relatives, to be sure everyone knows you are all ok. If you are traveling with your pet, don’t forget to bring a few emergency items for them too.
No matter what, take the time to go through this exercise of filling out our “My Pet Emergency Info Sheet” to have all the important information you need at your fingertips. This is a good form to have when traveling by air or car and to leave with a pet sitter while you go out of town.
The FEMA tagline is so true: Get Ready Now. So what are you waiting for? Act now! What's in your plan?