In recent days and weeks we have seen storms and tornados that result in evacuations for homeowners and consequently their pets. There is an organization in Colorado, readycolorado.com, that has timely information about what to do if you are being evacuated from your home. There is much you can do preemptively to be ready for such an event. I urge you to go to the website and review their suggestions and decide what is best for you and your situation. Those of us who live in Colorado are familiar with forest fire emergencies and understand that often, time is of the essence. For those of you in other states, I’m sure your state has an organization like this one. If not there is the Department of Homeland Security Pet Preparedness (www.ready.gov/america/getakit/pets.html) or the American Red Cross that also have pertinent information.
I suggest you put together a ‘to go’ kit for your dog(s) that is available on short notice. Perhaps, if you enjoy camping you might already have such a kit accumulated and is available to you in the event of an emergency. This kit should include: +pet food and water for 3 days; + can opener/spoons bowls; + treats; + medications; + copies of vaccination records; + collars/harnesses with tags and/or microchip info, leashes; + photos of you with your pets; + current sticker on house window with pet list for fire/emergency personnel; + pet first aid kit; + bedding; + toys; + leather gloves and towels; + grooming supplies; + paper towels, plastic trash bags, spray cleaner/disinfectant; + alcohol based hand sanitizer; + list of important animal emergency contacts – animal control, animal shelter, veterinarians, etc.
If you have cats you will probably add cat litter and a litter pan. If you have other pets, their needs will be a consideration as well.
As always – safety first. Of course, we all hope we never have to use the kit but in the event of extreme weather or fire, we need to do all we can to keep our pets safe.