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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Is your pet prepared for disaster?

Survival Life:

When it comes to preparing for a disaster you need to make sure that you prepare not only for yourself and your family, but also for your pets. A 2012 study from the Humane Society shows that 33% of all US households own at least one cat. It also shows that 39% own at least one dog. To some people a pet may just be an animal but to many, Fido and Fluffy are extensions of the family. With this being the case it is fairly surprising to me how few preppers remember to pack an emergency kit for their pets.

I have heard too often that pets will be able to “make their own way” and that it is their natural instinct to survive. The truth of the matter is, most house trained cats and dogs don’t make it very far on their own. The average life span of a stray animal is cut nearly in half compared to that of a house kept pet. With that being said I urge any of you with pets to make sure that you consider them when making your preparations.

If you believe bringing your pet with you during an evacuation is not an option, there are other solutions for you.

  • Contact your veterinarian and ask for a list of their preferred boarding facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter for pets.
  • Ask trusted sources outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
If you do plan on taking your pet with you, it is very important to create a Pet Evacuation Kit or PEK handy for your pets. This kit is not unlike your own Bug Out Bag and will contain all of the same basic ingredients. Keep this PEK with your personal go bags and make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are. This kit should be clearly marked and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or purchase one online)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (make sure that you follow the first in first out rule with pet food as well as human food)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans work well, are inexpensive and usually come with lids to keep the smell down)
  • Litter
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Medications should also be rotated out the same as food to avoid having ineffective or bad medication when your pet needs it
  • Bottled water, at least 3 days’ worth for each person and pet
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet (folding crates and carriers work well and they will stow away in a tight area when not in use)
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you need to make “Lost” posters)

Choosing a “Designated Caregiver”
This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence but still far enough away that they would be outside of any immediate danger zone. This should be someone who you have a great amount of trust in and it should be a reciprocal relationship.

Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet. They will need to have met your pet and you need to make sure that your pet is comfortable around them. If you are willing and able to rely on them they should be able to do the same for you if the situation is reversed.

Step 5 Evacuation Preparation
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Never assume that you will return in a few hours. If you think you may be gone for only a day, prepare for the possibility that you may not be able to return for several weeks.

When recommendations for evacuation have been announced or a mandatory evacuation order has been declared, follow the instructions of local and state officials. Below are a few simple steps that will help to minimize your evacuation time.

  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his or her name, your telephone number, and any urgent medical needs.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters and will contain all of your contact information.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented or frightened and wander away from home during a crisis.
  • Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of an impending disaster.

Geographic and Climatic Considerations
Do you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods? If so, be sure to create your evacuation plan accordingly.

  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens in your home. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements typically work exceptionally well as safe zones.
  • A supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during the first stage of any crisis
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, but make sure that you still have some sort of an escape route from that room.

If emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it’s crucial that you keep your pets with you. Keep your PEK pack and other supplies close at hand. Your pets may become stressed and anxious during the in-house confinement, if so you should consider crating them for both your and their safety and comfort.

FEMA: Include Pets in Your Preparedness Plan

Make sure the pets are safe during storms

Hurricane Season’s Here: Six Steps to A Rescue Plan that Includes Pets

N.J. pets welcome at hurricane evacuation shelters

September 26, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Travel, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

New masks give pets a fighting chance against fires

San Diego, CA — San Diego animals now have a better chance of surviving fires thanks to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation.  An anonymous donation specifically earmarked to buy oxygen masks for pets allowed SDFRF to purchase 10 new sets of animal oxygen masks.  Each set contains a small, medium, and large oxygen mask, six foot tubing for each mask, a leash, a bright orange carry bag, and a sticker that shows which rig is carrying this lifesaving equipment.  “The nice thing is they can be sterilized and reused,” said Wendy Robinson, executive director of SDFRF.

While the donation was only for city of San Diego firefighters, it affects the whole region because San Diego firefighters assist regionally with wild fires and other major fires. 

Thousands of pets are killed yearly in house fires.  Most die due to asphyxiation.  These smaller oxygen masks are specifically designed to fit over the muzzle of a cat or dog, and that makes treatment more effective.

"Our firefighters put their lives on the line everyday to keep San Diego’s citizens, property, and yes, even animals, safe from fire and other emergencies.  Equipping our emergency first responders with enhanced service tools helps them better respond to the hundreds of emergency calls that occur daily in the San Diego area," said Robinson.

These new pet oxygen masks will enable San Diego firefighters to better respond to pet emergencies

These new pet oxygen masks will enable San Diego firefighters to better respond to pet emergencies

Photo Credits:  Courtesy of San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation

A San Diego firefighter demonstrates how the new pet oxygen masks work.

 

In this day and age, our pets are becoming more and more an integral part of our family.  It’s nice to know the San Diego Fire Department understands this and is taking steps to safeguard our pets.

By Vania Maldonado  -  Animal Rescue Examiner  – Vania Maldonado is a happily married cat rescuer. Over the past ten years, she’s lived in several different places and has helped stray and feral…

Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

June 22, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Our Pets (Animals) Safe – Part I

I’m a high school student in Northern Virginia, and, although I see how much devastation a disaster can cause in other areas of the country, our community generally doesn’t get hurricanes, tornados or wildfires.

Of course, we hear about tsunamis, floods, or fires, but they seem far away, unrelated to my day-to-day life. If I pay attention at all, I only hear about the pain and loss to humans, but not what happens to their beloved pets in the aftermath of a disaster.

All that changed for me when Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi. My mom, who works for The Humane Society of the United States, went down to help the four-legged victims who were also in desperate need of attention. She helped with everything from going into the city and breaking windows and doors to bring animal victims to safety to matching the descriptions of beloved cats and dogs with their owners to grooming horses and cleaning their manes and hooves. She tried to give all of these animals some dignity in the middle of chaos. It really struck me that I had no idea how my family would care for our pets in an emergency but I was certain, I didn’t want my pets, or those of my friends and neighbors, to end up like these dogs, cats, horses, and even parrots and iguanas had.

Our pets are a huge part of our family that we could never leave behind. We have two dogs and a horse that is boarded about an hour away from our home. I know that if an emergency happens that they are not all going to fit in the back of our SUV. And even if they did, I knew from the reports from New Orleans, I wouldn’t know where we could go. So I began to form a plan. But then I thought, I have a plan for us, but what about Obie, the cat next door? Or Jenny, the dog, that lives down the street?

I decided to organize an Emergency Preparedness day for my community. I knew I couldn’t change the world, but with this little effort I might encourage my friends and neighbors to consider developing a plan so, unlike some of the New Orleans residents, they, and their pets, might have a better outcome, if disaster struck. I chose a nearby park and called the police, our animal control agency, FEMA and our local County Supervisor, as well as the Red Cross, and asked them to help me encourage our community to develop a plan. I also distributed Ready pet brochures to everyone who attended.

What I found, even after Katrina, is that everyone had questions and the answers weren’t easy to find. The toughest was what are the emergency evacuation routes? I had to talk with the state’s Department of Transportation to get this information. This shows the importance of thinking ahead and really planning in advance.
To make sure my horse was well cared for in an emergency situation, I got her micro-chipped so my phone number, her vet and several emergency contacts were stored in a secure database. This is a very simple step that can ensure your pets will be returned to you if they get separated from your family. I also now plan to spray paint my phone number on her if I am ever separated from her. She may not be pretty, but if someone finds her I know I have a better chance of bringing her home.

The other thing my family did was to add extra pet food and supplies to our emergency supply kit. My family was featured in an instructional video for Ready.gov that explains how to deal with emergency preparedness for pets. You should check it out.

I think the thing I really learned from Katrina, is that, like my family, there are many Americans who consider their pets a part of their family, and they will protect them as they would a son or daughter. What we need to do, in our families, communities, and country is to be responsible and plan for our entire family, which includes both our two- and four-legged members, so that if, and when disaster occurs, we all are cared for and can survive. I hope, in some small way, I have helped my community achieve this goal.

Cricket Clayton – Originally Written and Posted Sept 2008

Source:  National Preparedness Month

Everyone should have an emergency bag for themselves, their families and their pets for minor emergencies and then emergency plans and supplies for major emergencies for themselves, their families and their pets… one for evacuation situations and one for stationary (stay at home) long term emergencies.

Posted: Just One More Pet

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment