When Natural Disasters Strike: Preparing For Emergencies
Most often we hear about natural disasters on the news: tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, and snow storms. Maybe you have personally experienced or know someone who has experienced such an event before. Natural disasters cause serious damage and can happen anywhere throughout the world, leaving an impact animals as well as their human companions. September is Natural Disaster Preparedness Month, which serves as a reminder that we as responsible pet owners should all prepare ahead of time for emergencies that could affect our pets’ wellbeing. Creating emergency plans and stocking supplies before disaster strikes will help you and your pet should such an emergency come to our area (Cambridge, Ontario). In the case of some natural disaster’s we could experience a loss of services such as electric power, gas, and water. Having alternate sources of basic necessities like water, food, battery powered generators and fuel for heat will help you and your pet weather the storm more comfortably together.
Some things you should include in your pet emergency supply kit are:
• A crate or carrier for each of your pets. It should be large enough to hold their food and water dishes and have enough room for them to stand, turn around and lie down in. Make sure to label the crate with your contact information, your pet’s information, and your vet’s contact information. A luggage tag could be used for this purpose.
• Leash , collar or harness
• Dishes that hook onto the door of the cage/crate will help prevent spills if your on the move.
• Pack one to two weeks’ worth of food per animal. Water resistant, airtight containers will help food to stay fresh. Wet, canned food is also good to have because the expiry date is usually good for a couple of years. It will also provide some moisture for your pet, and will make them less thirsty if water is scarce. Pack items that come from home like blankets and toys to help provide comfort.
• Feliway or Adaptil can be used to help reduce anxiety.
• Plastic bags for waste disposal, pee pads, newspapers, paper towels, Lysol wipes and bleach cleaner for cleanup and sanitizing.
• Make sure to have any pet prescriptions packed if you have to leave your home. Having copies of all your pet’s veterinarian documents, medical history, proof of ownership and microchip information. Take along recent pictures of yourself with your pets contact information for your vet.
• First aid kits containing bandage material, antibacterial soap, tape, tweezers, quick-stop, and antibacterial ointment are available for purchase at Animal Hospital of Cambridge.
Make sure all your pets are wearing up to date identification tags. If your pet is not micro-chipped, you may want to make an appointment to have this done. Place stickers on doors and windows to notify rescue crews (fire and police) that animals are in the house and need to be evacuated. Giving a neighbor or a family member a key to your house so they can look after your pets in the event you are travelling and away from home would be a good idea.
If you are being evacuated from your home, take your animals with you. If a situation is unsafe for you, then it is unsafe for your pets. It never hurts to be ready for an emergency and your pet’s will thank-you for it.