If disaster struck, would you be prepared? Would your pets?
Unless you’re a doomsday prepper or live in a disaster-prone area, disaster readiness isn’t something most of the rest of us think about regularly. However, being prepared in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death for you—and your pets.
In that vein, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recommends that pet owners create disaster plans and kits for their pets. Whatever the emergency is, be it an earthquake, a fire, a flood, or severe weather, it’s important to be prepared.
So, how should pet owners prepare for the unexpected? The HSUS has come up with a must-have list for a pet preparedness kit in case of disaster. The HSUS suggests that a fully-equipped pet disaster kit include all of the following:
- Five days’ worth of food and water
- All of your pets’ medications and medical information
- The contact information for your veterinarian
- Up-to-date photographs and detailed descriptions of your pets
- Relevant information about feeding, medical requirements, and behavioral issues, if any
- Necessary restraints, including leashes, harnesses, and carriers
- For cats: litter box and litter supplies
The HSUS notes that although the tendency may be to want to hold your pet close, for comfort (yours and theirs), in an emergency situation, this is a mistake. It’s much safer to keep your pet leashed, or in a carrier. This will prevent him or her from escaping to run and hide.
The HSUS website provides valuable information about disaster preparedness for pets, including methods of identifying pets, locating pet-friendly lodging in case of evacuation, and in-home procedures to follow during catastrophic situations.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to use your pet disaster kit. That said, a little readiness never hurt anyone. And in the unfortunate event that disaster strikes, you and your nonhuman family members will be prepared.
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