Pet Disaster Preparedness: Part II

It’s Disaster Preparedness Month! And… Super Smiley! You did a great job with your blog sharing a dog’s perspective on disaster preparation last week! Good Boy! Super Smiley and I are a HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response Team, so one of our passions is helping people and pets get through disasters. And, Smiley was right; I have your Pet Disaster Backpack all planned out…

  • Where will you go? In many disasters, evacuation is part of the experience, so I recommend that before a disaster strikes, locate the pet-friendly hotels in your area and in surrounding areas; collect their phone numbers; and keep them in your disaster backpack. This way if you are standing on the highway, 3. Disaster Prepare extra photo 3like I was with Starfire, Mini HaHa, Angel and Smiley, you won’t have to start your research then! You can just call and make the reservation. Also, if a disaster is potentially imminent, as in an approaching firestorm or flood, you can go ahead and make the hotel reservation before the evacuation. The hotel may give some type of disaster discount as a community service, so be sure to ask. Call your local shelters in advance to find out if they provide emergency housing for evacuated pets.
  • Photos! Before disaster strikes, take photos of your pets and create simple flyers displaying their photo and your phone number in case you get separated. Save the flyers on your phone so you can email them to local pet businesses in case your pet goes missing.
  • Identification! Make sure dogs are microchipped and are wearing a tag with your phone number.
  • Smiley brought up a great point. Do you think your pet might pick up on the stress surrounding the situation? Calming Spray mimics natural pheromones that reduces anxiety in a stressful environment and would be perfect for this situation. And in a disaster situation, what do you think might help you feel more normal? I bet playing with your dog or cat would!
  • Rescue Alert Sticker. The ASPCA offers Rescue Alert Stickers that can be displayed on the exterior of your house to let rescue workers know how many animals you have and who they are. Of course, if you are home when disaster strikes, always take your pets with you, and then write “Evacuated” across the sticker.
  • Plan your on-foot escape route in advance in case you can’t get to your car and have to walk or run.
  • Pet CPR training is offered in many communities by the Red Cross and through private instructors.

Have your disaster backpack ready to go in an easily accessible place. Items to pack include:

  • An extra leash for each pet
  • Towel or mat for your dog to sit on
  • 1 liter of bottled water
  • Collapsible water bowl
  • Three-day food supply
  • Dog booties
  • Toys and treats
  • Calming spray or calming collar
  • Medication (If your pet is diabetic, talk with your veterinarian about packing glucose paste in case you leave without his insulin)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Change of Clothes for you
  • Sweater for your pets if your area has cold weather

In a sealed plastic baggie be sure to pack:

  • Veterinary records and phone numbers
  • Pet insurance information
  • Microchip information
  • Photos of your pets with missing pet flyers
  • A list of pet-friendly hotels and resources with phone numbers
  • Pet first aid kit which can be purchased at pet stores or assembled yourself including basic first aid items like self-clinging bandaging, gauze pads, antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide, cool pack, thermometer, blunt-end scissors, saline solution, tweezers and a soft muzzle in case your dog needs treatment and becomes fear aggressive

Super Smiley and I hope you never have to use your disaster planning and backpack, but we also know first hand that having these tools within reach will give you more than just peace of mind. It will give you a leg up in meeting a disaster and a better ability to come out of it safely, calmly and together.

Until next time, Woof and Super Smiles from Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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