If you have pets, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe during a disaster. Pets cannot survive on their own during an emergency. Thus, your disaster preparedness plan should include the safety of your family as well as that of your pets. These guidelines can help you protect your pets during a crisis:
- Make a disaster preparedness kit for your pet with food and water to last for at least 3 days, cleanup items, leashes, litter box (for cats), plastic bags for waste (for dogs), a pet first-aid kit, as well as documents (photos of pets, medical records, etc.).
- Before the disaster:
- Make sure your pet wears a collar with contact information. In case you get separated, anyone who reads the pet’s tag will be able to contact you. Alternatively, microchip your pet to increase the chances to find him.
- Look for places where you and your pets can shelter in case you need to evacuate your home. Search for pet-friendly hotels or ask friends and neighbors. As an alternative, search for local veterinary clinics, animal shelters or boarding facilities.
- Have someone you trust to take care of your pets in the event that you won’t be home when a disaster occurs. Make sure the assigned person has the key to the house and is comfortable with your pets.
- During the disaster:
- Bring your pets inside, but separate dogs and cats. Even if they normally get along, their instincts will cause them to behave defensively and irrationally during an emergency.
- Seal any small areas, such as vents and fireplaces, where cats can hide when frightened.
- Move any dangerous items in the room, such as toxic plants and sharp objects, to a different area.
- After the disaster:
- If your pets have suffered injuries, take them to the vet immediately.
- Get your pets into normal routine to reduce their fear and confusion that may have been caused by the disaster. Be patient with them.
- Prevent your pets from running loose outside. If the area was damaged and modified, your pets might get disoriented and run away.
- Put leashes on dogs if you allow them outside. Damaged items in the area, such as downed power lines, might harm your pets.
Should you require professional remediation services for your home after a disaster involving fire, water or biohazard waste, contact PuroClean at your local office.