Pets and Disaster Safety
April is Pet First Aid Awareness month. While this is a great time for pet owners to brush up on tips for keeping their animals safe and healthy, it is also a great time to think about your disaster plan. During the first few months of the 2012 Spring Storm season we have already seen a great deal of disaster in our Region and across the Midwest.
How prepared are you and your family for the unimaginable? Having a plan for you and your fur kids is the key to keeping your family safe and together during and after a disaster. It is critical that the millions of pet parents nationwide address the needs of four-legged friends as they make emergency preparedness kits and plan for the unexpected. Emergencies can require responding at a moment’s notice and it’s important to know how to care for your pet in these situations.
“It is important to have a plan for pets because it is our responsibility as “Pet Parents” to be prepared. Here in the Southern Missouri Region, we have great partnerships with local and county partners for pets after a disaster, but if more owners are prepared before a disaster there will be less loss of animal life and less need for a large scale rescue for pets” says Greg Gaines, the Missouri Region D Mass Care Coordinator with the American Red Cross.
Here are a few things to be sure to think about to help you be prepared for your pets safety.
- Use a container that can be carried easily
- Keep items in an accessible place
- Pack a pet first aid kit
- Pack medications and medical records in waterproof containers
- Include leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely
- Stash current photos of your pets (in case they get lost)
- Bring food, drinkable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener
- Pack a bed or toys if easily transportable
- Include information on medical conditions, behavior problems, the name and number of your veterinarian, and pet boarding locations
For more information about first aid and disaster safety for your pet visit www.redcross.org
PHOTO: Roger Lang hugs his dog Blossom after his home in Branson MO was destroyed by a tornado.
Story and photo by: Nigel Holderby