Abandoned dog in the rain after natural disaster.

It is always better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it. This goes for so many aspects of modern living, but when it comes to natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and floods, it is critical to have a plan in place. Unexpected situations are bound to happen and pet disaster preparedness is an essential component of responsible pet ownership.

Plan for Anything

Understanding that the worst can happen at any time is a good place to start addressing pet disaster preparedness. Most people go to great lengths to protect family members or property, and protecting pets in the event of an emergency is absolutely necessary as well. 

If you have more than one pet, designate a single family member for each pet. This person will be tasked with securing their assigned animal during an emergency. When your family works together, you’ll have better odds at remaining safe and sound. 

How to Stay in Front

When considering pet disaster preparedness, it’s important to recognize that you and your pets may become separated. To reduce permanent loss or separation, be sure that your pets are microchipped. Updating any contact information that has changed is crucial. 

If you must evacuate your home, have a list of places that will welcome you and your pet. Public evacuation or rescue sites are not equipped to handle our animal friends. Research accommodations in advance within a day’s drive that can safely house people and pets. Ask family members or friends if their homes are viable options for extended stays.

Working It Out

Many disasters can happen suddenly with little to no warning. This is especially frightening if your animals are outside at the time. At the first indication that the weather is turning, call your pets indoors, or ask a friend or neighbor to do so in your absence. Pets may be inclined to either hide during terrible weather, or run away. 

Have a room that is set up for an open-ended sheltering-in-place. Store water bottles, litter, waste bags, back-up leashes/collars, extra food, and bowls, prescription medications, and comfortable pillows and blankets. A flashlight, radio, and a pet first-aid kit should round out your pet disaster preparedness gear. 

Other Things to Be Aware Of

It is never advisable to leave pets at home during an emergency. If you leave the house, they must go with you. If you aren’t at home during an emergency evacuation, firefighters, EMT’s, and other safety professionals may assess your property. A list of pets inside the home posted near the front door or windows can lead to their rescue. Names, breeds, ages, and specific care instructions could save their lives in the case of emergency. Always have your name and number affixed to your pet’s collars so you can be notified. 

Pet Disaster Preparedness

Natural disasters and emergencies can occur when we least expect them. As a result, pet disaster preparedness is the best–and only–way to get through to the other side. 

If you have additional questions or concerns about pet disaster preparedness, please give us a call at (512) 263-9292. Our veterinarians and team members are always here for you at BEEVET Animal Hospital