While National Animal Preparedness Day may be behind us, the potential for emergencies is ever-present. There are lots of animal preparedness lists available (we’ve even published a few!), but in the spirit of the Boy Scouts’/Girl Guides’ “Be prepared” motto, let’s go a step farther.
Here are 8 resources that you might find useful as part of your emergency planning activities for pets.
1. Free Pet Safety Pack
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is one of the largest humane societies in the world, dedicated to helping vulnerable animals and keeping pets safe. They offer a free pet safety pack that includes a pet rescue window decal to alert rescue personnel that pets are inside your home in the event of an emergency.
2. Horses, birds, reptiles, small animals, and fish
Getting pets like these prepared for an emergency can require a different set of supplies. This ASPCA article gives some great general guidelines but also provides special considerations for horses, reptiles, birds, and small animals. As for fish, check out these recommendations from the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians and North Carolina State University Veterinary News on dealing with aquariums and ponds during a power outage.
3. Tips for hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires
The Humane Society of the United States not only rescues animals caught in natural disasters but also provides recommendations for pet owners tailored to individual events. Learn how to protect your family in these situations and what you can do to support animals in need during natural disasters.
4. Pet-friendly hotels
When you leave your house in an emergency, there’s comfort knowing that where you’re headed will provide shelter to your entire family – two- and four-legged. This ASPCA list of hotels is a great reference to bookmark for future use.
5. Staying healthy while at an evacuation center
If you seek shelter at an evacuation center that accepts pets, it’s inevitable that pets and people will be in close contact. Scared and stressed, pets may act out towards their owners, other people, and other pets. Crowded conditions also mean lots of germ-sharing. may seem obvious now, at times of stress and chaos, they can be very useful for keeping your family healthy.
6. Boarding information
In the event you can’t take your pet with you, having some of your pet’s most basic medical information on hand to leave with their caregiver – be it a neighbour, an animal shelter or a boarding facility – is crucial. This Center for Disease Control (CDC) handout is a great start. You might even use the back of the page to add specifics about your pet, such as their likes and dislikes and things to be aware of that will help the caregiver make your pet feel as comfortable as possible.
7. On-the-go weather updates
Having up-to-the-minute weather updates can make all the difference. The FEMA app offers real-time weather alerts from the National Weather Service as well as emergency shelters in your area. Environment and Climate Change Canada has a similar app for Canadians.
8. After the emergency
We often think of pre-emergency planning and the during-emergency coping, but what about post-emergency management? The CDC covers all three and makes some excellent suggestions for reintroducing your pet to your home and how to deal pets that have been lost or injured during the emergency.
While National Animal Preparedness Day may be behind us, the potential for emergencies always lies ahead of us. Take time to plan and you’ll be better prepared for tomorrow and whatever emergencies come along.