Floridians are no strangers to disasters. Hurricanes, floods, sinkholes, you name it – we got it. With a major emergency happening in Florida at least once a year, you’d think Florida pet parents would be well-prepared. But just in case, here’s some tips to make sure your pet is prepared when disaster strikes.
During emergencies, it’s possible that your pet can become separated from you, and if this happens you want to be sure that there is a way for you both to be easily reunited again. That is why the ASPCA recommends microchipping your pets. It is the most permanent form of identification because the ID chip is embedded into your pet’s ear.
Dog tags and collars can fall or snap off, although it’s a good idea to make sure your pet at least has either of those. But microchipping is the most effective way of ensuring your pet finds you again. Make sure your contact information is up to date – it’s no use having your pet microchipped if a shelter cannot reach you when they find your pet.
While you may already have a first aid kit for the family, you should have a kit packed and ready for your pet in the event of an emergency. Your emergency pet kit should have the basics: 3-7 days’ worth of canned or dry food, water, and feeding dishes. For cats, scoopable litter, disposable litter trays, and toys are a must. For dogs, an extra leash, chew toys, and disposable trash bags for cleanup should be included.
We also recommend including photocopies or a USB drive of your pet’s medical records as well as any medicine your pet may require.
In extreme cases, you may need to evacuate your home or neighborhood. Do NOT leave your pets behind. They may become trapped or escape the house. If your pet gets out, she could be further exposed to all types of life-threatening hazards. If it’s not safe for you to stay, then it’s not safe for your pets.
That is why it is important that you have a safe place for both you and your pet to evacuate to. If your safe haven does not allow pets, have a list of animal shelters that will be able to take in evacuated pets.
Different disasters require specific measures to keep you and your pets safe. But these tips are necessary for any emergency. Don’t wait until disaster strikes, prepare your pet now.