When there’s a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, forest fire or
other natural disaster in the forecast, the last thing you want to do is
scramble to collect your pet’s things or search for an animal-friendly evacuation site. Don’t wait for disaster to strike — prepare your cat or
dog now. You and your pet will be glad you did.
Check out our photo gallery for six disaster preparedness
tips for pet owners.
Make a Plan Before Disaster Strikes
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for a disaster.
Plan for all possible scenarios: You may have to evacuate, you could be stuck
in your home or you may not be home at all. If you haven't already, ask your
neighbors if they'll take care of your pet during an emergency if you're not home and offer to
take care of theirs. Finally, find out which local shelters allow pets and
familiarize yourself with your area's emergency response plans.
Always Keep ID on Your Pets
If your cat or dog goes missing during or after a disaster,
you're more likely to find him if he's wearing a collar with identification
tags. Better yet, consider getting him microchipped as well as putting identification tags on him. Store the numbers of
your animal's ID and chip records in your phone and give them to a friend or
family member who doesn't live in the area. That way, if you
can't get to your phone, you can still be reached and reunited.
Create a Pet Emergency Kit
You may have an emergency kit for yourself and your family,
but what about for your pet? Stock up on your pet's food, medications, litter and
have enough water to cover your animal's needs and your own. You'll also need a
pet first-aid kit. It should include basic supplies like gauze sponges and
antibacterial cleanser, as well as cotton swabs and a muzzle. And if your cat or
dog eats canned food, don't forget to include a can opener and a spoon.
Disposable dishes and extra litterboxes are helpful, too.
Keep Your Pet's Records in One Place
Find a fire- and flood-safe place for your pet's records and make sure you regularly update records of his vaccinations, health issues,
license, microchip information and details on his pet health insurance
provider. It's a good idea to include recent photos, too. If he happens to
become lost, you can create "lost pet" posters and post the photos on
Get Your Pets Comfortable With Crates
Trying to get a nervous cat or dog into a carrier
when there's a hurricane or tornado on the way can be stressful for everyone.
Plus, the nerve-racking situation may cause him to lash out or bite you. Make your
life easier by crate-training your pet now. Our trainer, Mikkel Becker, has some
great tips on crate-training cats and dogs.
Advice for Recovering Lost Pets
Unfortunately, when Mother Nature wreaks havoc, there's a
chance your pet, or the pets belonging to people in your community, will run
away or go missing. Hopefully, your cat or dog is already ID'd and microchipped.
Your next steps are to create "lost pet" posters, reach out to
neighbors, veterinarians and shelters, and take to social media to get the