Tips to prepare yourself and your pets
A normal day can be turned upside down by severe weather causing damage and destruction to your home, cars, and other personal property.
There are several emergency plans you can follow to keep your family safe. What about a plan for your pets? Have you planned for them?
1. Create a plan. If you need to leave your home, because of an emergency situation, do you have a plan on where you and your pet will stay? Think about hotels that are pet friendly or family or friends that can care for you and your pets. Unfortunately, if you go to a Red Cross shelter, they don’t accept pets. Only service animals are allowed. Make sure you have a plan.
2. Make sure your pets can be identified. It’s important to make sure pets’ collars and tags are updated. If your pet has been microchipped, that’s excellent. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re reunited with your pets if they’re lost for a short time after a disaster.
3. Have pet carriers ready to go. While leaving your pet carriers in plain site can be stressful for your pets, it’s wise to keep them in a place that’ll make them readily available in case of an emergency. Keeping them buried in your basement or up in your attic can make them difficult to access when time is of the essence. At a minimum, always keep leashes or harnesses near the door.
4. Practice makes perfect. Consider practicing your emergency plan with your family and pets. For pets other than dogs, a car ride can be stressful. By practicing ahead of time, your pets will hopefully become more comfortable with the process and going in the car.
5. Play Hide and Seek. Stressful situations may cause your pets to hide. Be sure you know all their hiding spots in case you must evacuate your home quickly.
6. Create an emergency kit. Because we live in Wisconsin, you may want to pack an emergency kit just in case you get stranded in your car during a winter storm. Creating a kit for your pets is no different. Your pets’ kit should include:
- Additional leashes or harnesses
- Food and drinking water
- Bowls and litter boxes
- Plastic bags for waste
- Medical records
- Photos of your pets
- Favorite bed, blanket, and toys
7. Create a comfortable room. If you encounter severe weather and decide to shelter in place, make sure the room is comfortable for you and your pet. Preferably, the room should be clear of windows and items that could be toxic or dangerous to them.
8. Inspect your property. When you return home, check for things that may have moved or spilled. Check the floor to make sure there are no sharp items that could cause injury. Also look for exposed wires or dirty standing water. In both cases, you’ll want to make sure they’re remedied quickly.
9. Contact your veterinarian. If you return home and your pets seem out of sorts, contact your veterinarian for a thorough checkup. Pets can become unpredictable if they’re scared or sick.