Pet owners should have an emergency plan for if they need to evacuate due to wildfire or another natural disaster. Follow these tips to make sure your pets are properly taken care of in an emergency.
Tag Your Pets
Make sure that your cats and dogs wear collars with tags that include your contact information so that if your pets run off or otherwise get displaced in the event of an emergency, whoever finds them will easily be able to locate you. If your pet cannot wear a collar or you just want added security you can also have the vet microchip them. The microchip will hold your contact info and make it possible for anyone who finds your pet to track you down.
Have a Pet Emergency Kit Ready
The best thing you can do to prepare for evacuating with pets is to put together an emergency kit and keep it at the ready. Fill it with essentials for taking care of your pets, including the following:
- Photocopied vet records such as vaccinations and prescriptions
- Your pet’s microchip information (include microchip number, name and number of the microchip company)
- A 2-week supply of food, water, and medication for each of your pets
- Non-spill food and water dishes
- Leash, collar, and/or harness
- Pet carrier
- Blankets or pet bedding
- Toys for your pet
- Plastic bags and paper towels for cleaning up after your pet
Think about where you will go if you have to evacuate and whether you can take your pets with you. If not, plan where you will board your pets if you need to. Determining where your pets will be able to stay in the event of evacuation will reduce stress significantly in the moment if you have to leave your home in a hurry.
Check Your Home for Safety Risks Upon Returning
If you have been evacuated and are returning home with your pets, make sure that you inspect your home first before allowing your pets to roam free. It may be that there are new safety risks that weren’t there before, due to structural damage, items being moved around, or harmful contaminants.
SPIEDR provides wildland firefighter training, consulting, and rental equipment in order to help reduce the displacement of people (and their pets) due to evacuation.