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Pet Safety During Natural Disasters

Published On: Aug 05 2009 01:48:00 AM HST
Updated On: Aug 05 2009 01:48:59 AM HST

Pets are not allowed at all emergency shelters, so it is good to have a plan for your pet ahead of time.

  • Pet carriers or cages
  • Well-fitted collar--identification tag--leash
  • Two weeks supply of dry-type pet food
  • Non-spill food and water bowls
  • Non-breakable water storage containers with three-day supply of water
  • Newspaper--plastic bags--cleansers--disinfectants--paper towels
  • Special medication, if needed
  • Determine the safest place in your home for your pet during a disaster.
  • The place you select should be away from windows and in an area which is easy to clean.
  • Make advance arrangements with a dependable friend or relative for your pet to stay during an emergency.
  • A safe place is away from coastal or low-lying areas.
  • Check with veterinary clinics or your local human society to locate boarding facilities.
  • When you select a facility, be sure it is out of the immediate hazard area. Ask if the kennel has an emergency evacuation plan.
  • Keep your pet's vaccinations up-to-date.
  • Many boarding facilities will require proof of current vaccinations.
  • Keep a pet carrier on hand for each pet.
  • The carrier's size should be large enough so your pet can stand up and turn around when inside it. Be sure to take time to familiarize your pet with the carrier.
  • Be sure your pet has a properly fitted collar and an identification tag on at all times.
  • Keep a leash on hand to maintain control of your pet should you need to leave your home with your pet during an emergency.
  • Stock up on pet food and kitty litter.
  • If your pets are on special diets or medication, always have two weeks supply.
  • Stock up on newspaper, plastic bags, and cleansers/disinfectants to handle pet wastes.
  • Bring your pets indoors well ahead of a natural disaster.
  • Do not leave pets outside or tied up.
  • Prepare an indoor area in which your pet can stay.
  • A good place provides protection from breaking glass, wind and noise.
  • Use a tiled area which is easy to clean, such as the bathroom or garage.
  • Be sure your pet has access to a high place, such as counter tops, in case flooding occurs.
  • Put safety first.
  • Do not confine a dog and cat together, even if the two are normally friendly.
  • Keep small pets, such as rabbits, mice and birds, away from dogs and cats.
  • Leave difficult or aggressive animals in crates or cages to reduce the chance of the animals getting loose.
  • Leave water for your pets in bathtubs or in sturdy containers that will not spill.
  • Leave only dry-type foods to prevent overeating.
  • Use special food dispensers for birds. They must eat daily to survive.

After A Storm: In the after math of an emergency or natural disaster, be extra careful when letting your pet loose outdoors and be sure your pet wears an identification tag.

Familiar scents and landmarks may have been altered causing your pet to get confused and possibly lost. If your pet is lost, call and visit the Humane Society as soon as possible.

In addition, other dangers after a disaster could include downed power lines and debris created by strong winds or rain.

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