Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pets: Prepare For Disasters

It's better to take a half hour to pull some things together when all is calm, than try to think of what's needed when a disaster threatens. With all the storms across the country and world, it's certainly worth a bit of time to read the basics and take the steps so our pets will not suffer.

Find shelter for your pets
Unless you rely on the assistance of a guide or leader dog, Red Cross and other public shelters cannot accept pets. It’s up to you to make other arrangements for your pet. Contact your veterinarian, Humane Society or Animal Control office for more information. There may be space available at “pet shelters” on high ground in your community.

Your pet survival kit
Before a disaster strikes, be sure to put together a Pet Survival Kit. Include: proper ID collar and rabies tag, carrier or cage, leash, at least a two-week food supply, water and food bowls, any necessary medications, specific care instructions, newspapers and plastic trash bags for handling waste. Make sure your pets have up-to-date shots. Pet shelters require proof of vaccinations.

Other dangers to avoid
After the disaster has passed, be careful in allowing your pet outdoors. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered, and that could be confusing to your pet. Be careful that your pet doesn’t become lost. Downed power lines present real danger to your pet, as do snakes, insects or animals driven to higher ground by floods.

For more complete and detailed information, here's some links to ASPCA advice:
Disaster Preparedness
Forms for Animal Emergency Preparedness Plans
How To Make a Pet First Aid Kit

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