Unfortunately, emergencies come in many forms which may require anything from a brief absence from your home to a permanent evacuation, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pet(s) is to be prepared. Here are four simple steps you can follow to ensure you’re ready before disaster strikes:
Post a Rescue Alert Sticker: This sticker will alert people that you have pets inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (we recommend placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the type and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian.
Arrange a Safe Haven: NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET(S) BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pet(s). Pets left at home can become trapped, escape or be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Since not all emergency shelters accept pets, it is imperative you determine where you will bring your pet(s) ahead of time:
- Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding facilities.
- Ask your local animal shelter if they can provide emergency shelter or foster care.
- Identify hotels, in and outside of your immediate area, that accept pets.
- Ask friends and relatives if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Choose Designated Caregiver(s): When selecting a temporary caregiver, always consider someone who lives close to your home. Preferably, they should be someone who is generally home during the day or have easy access to your home. This could be a neighbor or someone who has pets of their own.
Ideally, when selecting a more permanent caregiver or “foster parent”, consider people who have met your pet or have successfully cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length so that they fully understand the responsibility of caring for your pet(s) long-term.
Prepare Emergency Supply Kit: In the event you must evacuate your home, always plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. For a suggested list of what to include in your “Evac-Pack”, please click here.