We are all grieving over watching the heartbreaking images from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Turning the television on and seeing the immense devastation and suffering on every channel gives us a glimpse of how massive the destruction is.
We’ve seen pictures of helpless elderly people in wheelchairs sitting in rising water up to their waists with no way to save themselves. We’ve seen pictures of people on top of roofs trying to escape the fast moving deadly current that’s already consumed their homes. They’re struggling for their very lives.
And the gut wrenching pictures of people clutching the pets they love and those precious lives they’re trying to save. They wouldn’t dream of leaving pets behind in the flood to fend for themselves. So they take them along to the safety of the shelters where thousands of people and pets stay together.
An epic disaster can happen anywhere in any part of the country and sometimes it happens without warning. So we need to do everything in our power to be prepared for our families including pets. Now is the time to develop your pet emergency your plan so this article is part one of a two part series to help prepare for a disaster.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are certain steps you should take to prepare for the safety of your pet during a disaster. Among those steps is to make a flier with a current photo of your pet, including your contact information and the contact information of someone you trust who doesn’t live in the same vicinity.
Having the additional contact number of someone outside the area is helpful in case you’re separated from your pet and in the event you lose access to your phone during the disaster. The likelihood of the other person being available even if you’re not is greater if they live some distance away from you.
Also, list a clear description of your pet on the flier. Indicate his age, weight, color, whether he’s neutered or not, the color of his collar, description of his identification tags and his microchip number. Additionally describe any distinctive features about your pet on the flier such as a scar, a broken tooth, a limp, etc.
So in order to complete your flyer it’s important to take some action now. Take a good close up photograph of your pet. Check to make sure his ID tags are legible. If your pet is not yet microchipped, please make an appointment with your veterinarian to have it done this week.
Once you have this done create your flier making several copies and laminate them. Share the flier with friends and relatives so others would be able to publish it in your absence in the event of an emergency
In addition to creating the flier to find a missing pet, create a second flier listing important information about his health. List medications he’s taking, feeding schedule including brand of food he eats, any known allergies and any behavioral concerns.
Put both fliers into an emergency preparedness kit that I’ll tell you about in next week’s column. Watch for it so you can be pet prepared.
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