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Community newsANIMALS 101 - HAVING AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR YOUR...

ANIMALS 101 – HAVING AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR YOUR PETS.
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ANIMALS 101 – DO YOU HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE FOR YOUR PETS IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY?

This is NOT ONLY APPLICABLE IN COVID TIMES!

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:

1. Make a plan.

2. Build an emergency kit.

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3. Stay informed.

animals
Source Pexels.com
  1. MAKE A PLAN

If you have a plan in place for you and your pets, you will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry when you need to make a decision during an emergency. This includes you falling ill or dying in an accident. If local officials asks you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too. If you leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured or worse. You are responsible for them.

  • Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside. Find a safe place where you can take your pets, before disasters and emergencies happen.
  • Plan together with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
  • Have your pet microchipped. Make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area. Remember that you have to register the microchip the first time and on more than one database.
  • Contact your local emergency management office, veterinarian, animal shelter or animal control office to get additional advice and information if you’re unsure on how to care for your pet in case of an emergency.
animals
Source humanesociety.org

2. BUILD AN EMERGENCY KIT

Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, such as food and water. Have two kits, one larger kit if you are sheltering in place and one lightweight version for if you need to evacuate. Review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

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Here are some items you may want to include in an emergency kit for your pet:

  • Food. Keep several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Water. Store a water bowl and several days’ supply of water.
  • Medicine. Well labelled. Keep an extra supply of the medicine your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
  • Keep all their medical records in one place with this kit.
  • First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
  • Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.
  • Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet. Have a plan on who grabs what in an emergency.
  • Grooming items. Pet shampoo, conditioner and other items, in case your pet needs some cleaning up. Dry shampoos are great for this.
  • Sanitation needs. Include pet litter and litter box (if appropriate), newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. You can also add a detailed description of your pet.
  • Important numbers. Your veterinarians number. If your family does not live in your town, have numbers for someone who can immediately go to your home and check on them or take them. You can even provide them with a letter of authorisation and or a key to your home.
  • Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

Also read: ANIMALS 101 – ADOPTING A PET (PART 2)

3. STAY INFORMED

This includes the current situation in your area or country or topics about your pets.

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OTHER TIPS

  • Emergency card. You can buy or make such cards to keep in your wallet or in your car. Even stickers. If you are in a accident or unconscious then this person can be contacted. Never list your address, but that you have animals at home to be taken care of and the contact person.
  • In case of a fire at home. Have a small notice board near entrances about people and pets in this home. Not where thieves can see it from outside, but if firemen enter this could help. Read more on FIRE EMERGENCY here.
  • Provide exits for your pets like doggy doors. We prefer at least two.
  • Teach your pets to open certain doors.
  • Our pet sitter and one other person is listed with contact numbers on our vet accounts as having authority to make decisions on our behalf. Inform your vet that this person can be contacted.
  • We opened a vet account at more than one veterinary practice in town, so if one is not available, you (or pet sitter) does not need to do all the paperwork then.
  • Our pet sitter has the family’s numbers and vice versa.
  • Include your pets in your will and clearly state your wishes. Name one or two people you trust to make these decisions if necessary. Inform those that you name in your will to take care of your pets.
  • NEVER LEAVE your pets alone when you are away for holiday. Have someone check in at least once a day.
  • Save in advance for pet emergencies.

Next week we will look at how you can help reputable and local animal welfare organisations.

WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!

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ANIMALS 101 – HAVING AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR YOUR PETS.

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