Proper Prior Planning: A Must

posted September 7th, 2011 by
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View of thunderstorm clouds above water

By Stacy Pettit

Last weekend, I know many of us stayed glued to the TV or near our cell phones to check in with friends and family on the East Coast as Hurricane Irene ferociously drilled the shore. Last week’s storm should serve as a reminder to properly care for those friends and family closer to home – our pets – in the event of a natural disaster. And with Oklahoma already seeing its fair share of disasters in 2011 including blizzards, fires, floods, extreme heat and tornados, the sooner you have a plan in place to keep your pet safe, the better.

            FEMA has declared September as National Preparedness Month so what better time to gather supplies and create a plan in case the unimaginable happens to you and your family? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Make sure your pets have proper tags and contact information on at all times. This will make it easier for you to find your pet in case you get separated. It is also a good idea to put medical information if your pet needs medicine on the back of their tags.
  2. Much like the kit that you pack for the rest of your family, include three days worth of food and water for your pet along with a first aid kit in a natural disaster safety pack. Other good ideas to include in this pack are food bowls, extra leashes and collars, and an adequate supply of medications that your pet might be on.
  3. Always plan to bring your pet along with you if you must evacuate your home. A pet has a much better chance at survival if he is with his owner. If you are away from home when disaster strikes, talk with a neighbor ahead of time and ask them to check in on your pet if you are not home during a disaster.
  4. Because it is a good idea to take your pet with you if you are evacuated, be sure and have a list of shelters or hotels that allow pets. If it is impossible to bring your pet with you to a shelter, check out possible places to board your animals.

 With such a wide array of possible natural disasters, you must be ready to think on your feet. If you become confused about what to do for your pets in a disaster, the best idea is to treat your pet as part of the family. After all, let’s face it – they are a big part of the family and in the end, if a nightmare hits your home, having that friend there to support you will make the rebuilding process a little easier. 

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