Each year, natural disasters affect people and pets across the country. Severe weather is inevitable, but losing a beloved pet doesn’t have to be. Unfortunately, because of the unpredictability of natural disasters, it is always best to have a plan in place to keep our four-legged family members safe. If a situation is dangerous for humans, it is dangerous for animals, and with the help of “Petmate” I have put together some tips on how pet owners can prepare for a natural disaster.
Preparing for a natural disaster:
- Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Animal shelters and kennels typically require proof of vaccines.
- Put a sticker on the door or a main window of your home that lists the number and kinds of animals you have in case you are not home when an evacuation is necessary. These stickers are available at most pet stores. If you do leave with your pets please put a large note on the door stating that you have evacuated and have all of your animals.
- Have a current photograph of your pet, and keep it with you for identification purposes.
- Microchip identification is always helpful for everyone involved. Please keep your animal’s microchip information in their evacuation file. Yes, even birds can be micro chipped. Even if you are not preparing for a disaster having your pet micro chipped is always smart.
- Create and keep an updated list of emergency telephone numbers. Include your veterinarian, local animal control, local animal shelters, the Red Cross, and any other individual or group you might need to contact during the disaster.
- Prepare a survival kit for each pet. All kits will be as unique as your animal, however all kits should carry food, water bottles, cups/bowels to place food and water etc.
Official shelters do not allow pets. If in the event of evacuation you cannot find a pet-friendly hotel (they fill up very quickly, another good reason to evacuate early), make other arrangements for pets if you cannot all stay together, such as with family, friends, veterinarians, or kennels in safe locations.
There are many websites that offer pet evacuation plans and other helpful tips that are specific to your region. Review those each year as you prepare for seasons that bring natural disasters, as they will be updated with important information you need to keep all of your family members safe – including your pet.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900