Monday, January 18, 2016

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

I have pampered house dogs.  They are like my furry kids.  Were something horrible to happen, I would most certainly take them with me on any evacuation order.  That's an absolute.  If they weren't welcome, I wouldn't go either. With that commitment comes the requirement to be prepared to bug them out.  And that takes some thought about what they need and why.  Some things they will need for their own safety and comfort and some things for the safety and comfort of other people you may be around.

I admit, I hadn't given it a lot of thought until this was posted in one of my Facebook groups.  It bears sharing and gives you some things to think about.  One of my first questions was what goes in a doggie first aid kit...  A group member supplied a link to some pre-made ones you can purchase but as I looked through them I realized the contents are the same as you would include in your human first aid kit.  This is is totally doable as a DIY  project.  The main benefit in the dog having his own would be that he can help carry the supplies and then they are right where you need them should you have to put the supplies to use.

Another article I was pointed to that gives some valuable advice is Saving Pets During Disasters.  There were several things I hadn't thought of before on their list of preparations and it pointed out some glaring holes in my plan that I now know I need to address.  Basic training being the #1 thing since my guys are not always the best little gentlemen.  We need to work on leash walking,  and the commands to stay, come and drop it.  We need to work on those things a lot!

1 comment:

Rey Thompson said...

I'm not what you'd call a "prepper." But professionally I work in Emergency Management. Too many people expect that their pets will be treated as well as people are in a disaster situation. The fact is, human life and safety come first for response personnel under the law. If you want your pet to be treated well, it will be primarily up to you.

It's wise to know what your local emergency management personnel have in their plan for housing your pet. You may even want to join or start a Community Animal Response Team (CART) that rescues, shelters and cares for animals in disaster. Wherever you plan to stay while displaced from your home, be sure your pet will be welcome as well. Because of allergies, fears and unpredictability of pet and human interactions, most public shelters will house your pet away from the human population so you need to provide as many of the comforts and attention as your pet needs.

The bug out bag described here is a good first start. A good rule for food is the same rule for humans, "store what you eat and eat what you store." This means pack the same food and treats as you usually give your pet. Just pull out the stored stuff and replace it with fresh goods every few months. Many people do this rotation when they change their clocks with Daylight Savings Time (fire alarm batteries, family and individual go bags, pet kit all get the once over twice a year).