With climate change the way it is, we’re seeing an increasing number of news stories about flooding and lost pets. To help you survive such an emergency, it’s important to plan ahead and take the steps necessary to ensure your pet’s safety during a natural disaster.
Canada has seen a record-breaking amount of rainfall this year and some of the worst cases of flooding. This weather pattern is going to become more typical as the planets gets warmer, so it now becomes necessary to think about pet safety and how to prepare for such an emergency.
Some of the best advice comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
- Stay Informed
In association with the American Kennel Club, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, American Veterinary Medical Association, and The Humane Society of the U.S., FEMA has published an emergency guide for pet owners. Here are some of the most important tips to help you prepare for such an emergency:
Emergency Safety Tips for Pet Owners
Prepare – pack a bag stuffed with enough essentials for several days, including:
- Enough food and water for 3 days.
- Uptodate medicines and vaccination records.
- Pet first aid kit.
- Collar with ID tag, harness, leash.
- Kitty litter, puppy pads, poop bags, and sanitary wipes.
- A photo of you and your pet in case you get separated.
Make sure you have an adequate and secure animal carrier with enough blankets and toys to help your pet feel secure. I would strongly advise getting an FDA approved life jacket as well, just to be on the safe side.
Plan – in the event of a natural disaster, assess the situation and decide whether you should stay or go. Put together an action plan well in advance of any emergency situations:
- Develop an evacuation plan and map out your journey.
- Identify which shelters in your area are pet friendly.
- Search out nearby pet friendly hotels and motels.
- Practice your evacuation plan with your family so everyone knows the drill.
- Develop a buddy system with a neighbour in case of your absence.
Stay Informed – if there’s a weather system moving into your area, stay tuned to alerts and advisories and act accordingly for the safety of your pets and family.
In these uncertain times, it pays to take the necessary steps to keep ourselves and our beloved pets safe from harm. We hope these tips help.
Written by: Natalie Secretan
Photo by: Colin Key