After the tragedy that just hit Boston, you may wonder if you are ready to face a disaster, should it happen to you. Whether you have to evacuate, or you are stuck at home, here are a few tips to help you prepare to worst case scenario.
- If a disaster leaves you and your pet trapped indoors, always make sure there is an emergency supply of your pet’s favorite food on “paw”. Just as important is a strong water supply. Always have many bottles of fresh water available, as running water may not work in your home.
- You may not be able to get in touch with your doggie-doctor, so if your four-legged pal takes any medication, make sure you have enough to last at least a week.
- If you must leave your home, it is helpful to have a pet carrier available, but make sure it is one that your dog or cat is used to and will enter voluntarily. To ensure that your pet does not make a break for it, use a carrier that can be locked and is inescapable.
- Bring some of your pet’s favorite belongings, such as blankets, toys and treats. Chances are, your pet will be frightened or confused, so it is a good idea to bring familiar things that will keep Fido or Fluffy at ease.
- In any emergency situation, people, as well as pets, will be frightened. Comfort your pet by remaining calm and speaking in a reassuring and soothing tone. Also pay attention to body language such as shaking and clinginess.
- Practice makes perfect. Having a well thought out escape plan can save your life and your pet’s life. Every once in a while, try some evacuation exercises with your family and pooch or feline. This can help make an evacuation much more organized and calm for all involved.
- It is very important for your pet to always wear his or her collar with proper identification. This is similar to a human always having their driver’s license with them. Pet parents can also have a tiny microchip implanted in their pet to help locate them in case they are separated. These precautions can ensure a happy reunion if you are separated from your furry friend!
- If you and your pet are separated, pay daily visits to local shelters, animal control facilities, veterinary offices and kennels until you have found it. You can also post photos of your lost pet. If your pet has tattoos, a microchip or other permanent identification, this will increase the chances of finding it. Be aware that collars and tags are sometimes lost.
- Always have a first aid kit ready.