Preparedness plans should include pets

To help prevent undue risk in emergency situations and to help improve rates of survival for pets, the Humane Society recommends keeping a pet carrier to transport pets in and to make sure an owner never leaves a pet behind during an evacuation.

As National Preparedness Month takes place in September, the month marks a good time to put a plan in place for the whole family, which means pets, too, states a release from the Humane Society of Missouri’s Disaster Response Team.

“From a countless number of rescues in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and more, the Humane Society of Missouri’s Disaster Response Team knows how devastating it is to see pets exposed to the perils of natural disasters, as well as how critical it is to be prepared for the unexpected,” states the release.

To help prevent undue risk in emergency situations and to help improve rates of survival for pets, the Humane Society recommends the following tips.

Make a plan

• Create an evacuation plan that includes pets and inform close friends and family.

Different disasters require different courses of action; the sooner a plan is created, the more time a family has to prepare.

• Identify pet-friendly places to go in times of distress and make sure each pet has identification, including a collar with ID tags and an up-to-date microchip.

Build a disaster kit

• Include medications, medical records, leashes/harnesses, bowls, current photos and descriptions of your pets, a week’s worth of food and water and anything that will reduce a pet’s stress, such as their bedding and toys.

• Be sure to have a pet first aid kit as well.

Take pets during evacuations

• Don’t assume a pet will be fine. Never leave a pet behind during an evacuation.

• Keep a sturdy, safe crate or carrier on hand and have a pet-friendly place to keep a pet while the cleanup ensues.

Have emergency veterinarian

• Identify a veterinarian outside of the disaster area ahead of time in case the pet appears to be injured or ill.

Listen for information

• Listening and following local news outlets is key to receiving updates on where to go and what to do during an emergency.

For more information about how to be prepared during an emergency, visit hsmo.org/animalcrueltytaskforce/disaster-preparedness.

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