Our pets are impacted by the same disasters and emergencies as we are - natural, manmade, large, and small. Below are a few simple steps you can take to get you and your pet prepared.
Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
You can get an alert sticker from the ASPCA as well as from your local pet supply store. This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. The ASPCA recommends that you make sure it is visible to rescue workers and that it includes 1) the types and number of pets in your household; 2) the name of your veterinarian, and 3) your veterinarian's phone number. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write "EVACUATED" across the stickers.
Not all disaster shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you plan ahead. Make a list of hotels/motels outside of your immediate area that accepts pets. As an alternative, you can ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency care for pets during a disaster. Ask relatives outside of your immediate area if they would be willing to take your pet in.
Step 3: Build a Kit
Pets are part of the family and deserve the same disaster consciousness you'll apply to your own kit. In the event of an evacuation, do not leave your pets behind. These resources will give you several ideas on how to put together the best emergency kit for your pet.
Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet's ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal's shoulder area and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters.
Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.