Did you know?
June is National Pet Preparedness Month!
And, this September, it’s the 5 year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy . . .
In 2012, over 100,000 people were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. The massive “superstorm” cut a swath of destruction 1,100 miles wide, across 24 states. The storm left hundreds of thousands of homes badly damaged and uninhabitable or, in many cases, completely destroyed. Almost 2 million people were without power or heat, days and weeks after the storm.
Many people displaced by the mandatory evacuation orders from New York City to Atlantic City were pet owners. And, while some of the shelters allowed evacuees to bring their pets with them, not all areas in Sandy’s path made emergency provisions for animals. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters (and in some cases all of the designated emergency shelters) refused to accept pets, even those in carriers.
As a result of the lack of shelters, thousands of pets were marooned in flooded homes. Some simply went missing in badly storm-damaged areas.
All the local shelters and animal rescue groups were stretched to their limits with four-legged refugees. The shelters took in as many animals as they could pack into their already full facilities. But while they tried diligently to re-unite the pets with their owners, many had to be euthanized. All because people didn’t know preparedness tips for pet owners.
So what are the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy for pet owners – and what can we do to prevent this tragedy from being repeated?
Here are 6 great Preparedness Tips for Pet Owners summarized from the Ready.gov site . These will help you prepare for your pets before the next disaster hits:
1. Consider getting your pet micro chipped now. It’s really crucial to keep them safe in a disaster situation.
The advantage of micro chip identification is that if you’re separated from your pet during a disaster, a temporary shelter can easily swipe a scanner over your pet’s microchip and all of your contact information will pop up, making it much more likely for you to be reunited with your pet.
2. The likelihood that you and your pets will survive an emergency such as a fire, flood, or hurricane depends upon implementing these emergency preparedness tips for pet owners you do today.
While we’ve summarized the list of things you need to gather for your emergency preparedness kit for your family, pets need a few extras not on that list.
To assemble an animal emergency supply kit, be prepared to improvise. You can use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
To do that, check out this quick list:
Manual can opener
First aid kit and other supplies
Remember: boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. So, be sure to include copies of these documents in your “pet survival kit” along with a photo of your pet – and a recent photo of you! -in case you are separated.
3. Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself.
Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
4. If you are forced by mandatory evacuation of your home, Please! Unless you have no other alternative
DON’T LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND!
Most pets can’t survive on their own. And if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
5. Since many public shelters cannot host pets for public health reasons,
plan in advance for shelter alternatives
that will work for both you and your pets. Consider family or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.
6. But, if the worst should happen, an emergency in which you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, confine your pet to a safe area inside.
Please don’t EVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. And easy source of clean water in an emergency is your toilet! First, remove the toilet tank lid. Then, raise the seat. And finally, brace the bathroom door open so they can get to water as often as they need it.
And last, but not least, place a notice outside in a visible area before you go.
Put information in the notice advising rescue workers what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where emergency workers can reach you or a contact. as well as the name and number of your vet.