Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet

Here in the Midwest we feel pretty safe.  We don't have to worry about hurricanes or earth quakes.  Without such natural disasters many people feel comfortable that their family and pets will not ever have to evacuate for a natural disaster.

Recently in Iowa tornadoes tore apart over a dozen homes in one town.  Not long ago, people right here in Woodbury had to evacuate due to heavy rains.  Natural disasters do occur here and it pays to be prepared to keep your family and pets safe during this time.

The first thing to do is create an evacuation plan.  Arrange for somewhere to go and make sure ahead of time that they will welcome your pets.  Don't wait until the last minute to evacuate.  If you wait to be evacuated by emergency officials you may be told to leave your pet behind.

Always take your pet when you evacuate, even if you think it will only be for a couple hours.  Once you leave there is no way of knowing how long you will be kept away.  You may not be able to get back to them for quite some time.

Secondly, you should create a disaster kit for pets.  This should include the following items in easy to carry, water tight containers...
  -Pet First Aid Kit
  -Medical Records, including vet records and microchip info
  -Sturdy leashes, harness, and carriers to transport animals
  -Current photos and descriptions of pets to prove they are  
   yours if you get separated
  -Food and water for at least 3 days
  -Bowls, litter boxes, litter, and a manual can opener
  -Info about medical and behavioral conditions, as well as the
   phone number of your veterinarian in case you get
  -Toys and bedding if you have room

Make sure your pets also have on identification tags.  Unfortunately many pets tend to lose their tags and collars when lost.  The best thing you can do for them is to microchip them.  A microchip is a permanent form of identification that is implanted under their skin.

Preparing for disasters is like having insurance.  You hope you never have to use it, but are sure glad you have it when you do.  Don't let your pets become victims of natural disasters.  By preparing ahead of time you can assure that your pets remain safe during these unexpected times.

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