As evacuations continue throughout Japan, pet owners here at home are urged to consider their own pet emergency system. Here are some suggestions from the ASPCA to keep your pets safe during an evacuation by planning ahead…
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. If you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials.
To minimize evacuation time, take these 5 simple steps:
1. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
2. Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Also do the same on your pet’s carrier.
3. Consider micro-chipping as a more permanent form of identification. 4. Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
5. Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster. Arrange a Safe Haven Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note: Not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative to determine where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
1. Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
2. Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
3. Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
4. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits Keep an Evac-Pack and supplies handy for your pets. This kit should be clearly labeled and easy to carry. (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.) Top 5 items should include:
1. Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet) and an extra leash or harness.
2. About a week’s worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food, and bottled water.
3. Disposable litter trays and litter.
4. Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
5. Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Get a Rescue Alert Sticker This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home in case you are not there when the area is being evacuated.
Make sure it is visible to rescue workers, and that it includes:
1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian; and 3) your veterinarian’s phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. Click here to get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home.