Your pets are important members of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan. To prepare for the unexpected, follow these tips with your pets in mind:
- Make a plan.
- Build an emergency kit.
- Stay informed.
Make a Plan
If you have a plan in place for you and your pets, an emergency will be less stressful for you and your pets. If officials ask you to evacuate your home, that means you should take your pets with you.
- Know a safe place where you can take your pet. Not all public shelters or hotels allow pets inside.
- Work with your friends or neighbors (“pet buddies”) to care for your pets in case you can’t.
- Be sure to have your pet microchipped and keep the associated contact information up to date.
Build a Kit for your Pet
Like your family’s emergency supplies, plan for your pets’ needs for survival including food and water. Perhaps have one larger kit to use at home and a smaller kit to use if you must evacuate. Check your kits every six months to make sure that perishable contents like food or medicine are still usable.
- Pet items to include:
- Food – two-week supply plus some treats
- Water – plus a water bowl
- Medicine if required
- Extra collar, harness, and leash
- Travel bag or crate (be sure they’re familiar with being in these)
- Pet sanitation needs – roll of waste bags
- During an emergency, it’s vital for you to stay informed about current conditions.
- Bring pets indoors at the first sign of a major storm or disaster.
FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has further information for you on this topic at ready.gov/pets.
The Red Cross also has information on caring for your pets. You can download their “Pet First Aid App” onto your phone. You can also sign up for a Red Cross class on Cat and Dog First Aid – tinyurl.com/3brrkv7n.
Tigard CERT Inc. is a local non-profit organization allied with the City of Tigard that trains volunteers in basic emergency response and organizational skills following the Federal Emergency Management Agency model and guidelines for local Community Emergency Response Teams. For more information about Tigard CERT, please visit our website at tigardcert.wordpress.com.