Super Smiley’s Top 10 List for Disaster Preparedness

Super Smiley, blog dog here. September can mean hurricanes in some areas and firestorms in others. I personally have been evacuated from my home during three firestorms in Malibu. It was very scary! But we were safe and it all went smoothly, because my person knew what to do and had a plan!

Greensboro, NC Fireman Timothy Carrier at Engine 5 summed it up, “Think in terms of how you need to prepare for your human family’s safety, and that’s how to look at preparing to evacuate your pets. For example, do they take medication? Think it through in advance…”

From my perspective as a dog during my evacuations, here’s what I thought was really important.

  1. Keep your pet on a leash or confined in a crate! I stayed right with my person, but it was so scary that I might have bolted in a panic if I had been loose. With smoke, rain, high winds and high stress a lost pet would be very hard to find.
  2. Evacuate early! And take your pet with you! We left as soon as the warnings were announced. Soon after that the smoke would have been too thick to see. And if a hurricane is coming, you don’t want to be stuck in floodwaters or blinding rain.
  3. Have an evacuation route planned in advance. We knew exactly where to walk and where to wait for help. (We walked because we also had to take our horses, Starfire and Mini HaHa.)
  4. Have an emergency backpack ready to go! We had all of our supplies with us and that made it much better.

Here are some of the things we had with us that made it so much better for me and for Tout Suite The Travel Kitty:

  • Collapsible bowls
  • Bottled water and food (for at least five days if you can fit it)
  • Poop scoop bags
  • A towel for me to sit on that smelled like home
  • Medications, medical records and photos of us in case we got lost
  • And for cats – a travel crate with her kitty bed inside and a cat litter box. If a full litter box won’t fit in your car, take a disposable aluminum turkey roasting pan and a quart bag of cat litter. This makes a light and easily transportable cat litter box in emergencies.
  1. Get us fast by keeping leashes, harnesses and treats by exit doors so you can grab them and secure each of your pets quickly.

As a HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response Dog, we are all about planning and safety! And as a family dog, I’m all about feeling safe and taken care of and being with my people, especially when it’s scary!

Megan here now, and Super Smiley that was a great start!

From the human perspective, it’s all about planning before disaster strikes.

  1. Locate pet-friendly hotels that are on your escape route or out of fire zones and log their phone numbers into your cell phone. So as soon as you hear danger is coming, you can make a reservation.
  2. Keep identification tags on your pets and have them microchipped.
  3. In case you aren’t at home when disaster strikes, here are three ideas to consider.
  • Post stickers on all your doors and windows indicating how many pets there are inside.
  • If when you are away you keep your pets in closed rooms, try to keep them near the front of the house, so they can be found quicker and saved more easily.
  • Let your neighbors know where your pets are and give them a list of instructions of how to help in case you aren’t there.
  1. If you plan to remain at your home during an evacuation, keep your pet in the room with you close by so they don’t find a hiding place. This way you keep quick access to them in case you need to leave. And keep your supplies in your safe room with you ready to go, too.
  2. After the disaster, the danger may not be over. Here are two thoughts to consider.
  • Don’t let your pet roam loose. Keep them on a leash with you or safely locked in the house or in a carrier.
  • If there has been flooding in or damage to your house, check for wild animals that may have sought refuge in your home. They could be life threatening to your pets.

Plan ahead, be prepared and hopefully you’ll never need to use any of this. But if you do, believe me (and Super Smiley), this stuff is good to know!

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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