Our motto here at EARS goes back to our foundations following Hurricane Irene – “Disaster’s don’t just happen ‘someplace else’ anymore” – and there is never a better time to prepare than before it’s needed. Before the potential for hurricanes really begins, take a moment to consider whether you are truly ready in the event that one struck. Do you have a plan in place? Supplies on hand? Options of where to go? Help for you, your family, and your animals, if needed?
First and foremost it’s important that you have a “go kit” ready for any type of disaster. This should be a duffle bag or backpack that can easily be grabbed in the event you are forced to leave your home. It should have items that are enough to meet your needs for at least 3 days, including basic necessities, a change of clothing, copies of important paperwork, extra medications, etc. But don’t forget about your pets too! Copies of paperwork such as vaccinations, pet medications, and food if they are on a restricted or special diet should be included as well. Don’t forget that even if there is a local community shelter that is pet-friendly, they may not have access to specific foods and more than likely will not have pet medications on hand.
No one ever wants to think about having to evacuate their home, but situations do happen, and being caught unprepared can waste time and endanger lives. Before a disaster strikes, consider what your options for evacuating are. Do you have family or friends that you can go to? Have you considered how you’ll get there and what the best route to take may be? Don’t forget that in the event of an evacuation main roads are going to be quickly clogged with traffic, so you may want to consider a route that avoids highways or main roads all together. This will of course take you longer, so it is even worth driving your route to see if there’s anything you didn’t notice.
For animals, the number 1 thing to prepare for a disaster is assuring that they can be identified and reunited with you in the event you are separated. Microchips are the best method to do this, but you should also make sure they have collars with clear identification tags. Have printed pictures of you and your pet together, as well as pictures of your pet from different angles so that markings are easily visible. PRINT THESE… remember in the event of a disaster you may not have the option of charging your phone, or if you lose your phone you won’t be able to access pictures on it anyway.
Stay tuned to our EARS page for more Pet Preparedness tips and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions