Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month?
We see devastation occurring all over the world due to seasonal storms – Mother Nature wreaking havoc in recent weeks.
It’s important for people to have an emergency plan for themselves AND their Shelter Mutts.
Recently, Huffington Post reported on a CNN interview of a man in Florida who tried to evacuate before Hurricane Irma but was denied a flight because he did not have the appropriate dog carrier. (Local pet stores were sold out of carriers/crates due to the impending storm). He decided to ride out the hurricane instead of evacuating – not wanting to leave his dog behind.
This is just one example of someone not evacuating due to their companion animal’s safety. Many people refuse to evacuate a dangerous situation because they do not have an evacuation plan for their dog (or other pets). Reports vary – but in one study 44% of people responded they did not leave before Katrina hit at least in part because of their pets.
Sometimes there is no warning at all that disaster will strike. Do you think you’re safe because you don’t live in a zone that is typically hit by natural disasters?
Do you live near train tracks? A Highway? Then you are in danger of mandatory evacuation. If a train or truck carrying toxic materials is involved in an accident – your area may be evacuated – and with very little (if any) warning.
You may have a gas leak in your neighborhood, a fire that destroys half an apartment building making the entire building unsafe. There could be any number of man-made or natural disasters that occur.
To best prepare yourself and your family (including your Shelter Mutt and other pets) make sure to complete a Disaster Preparedness Checklist NOW for each pet in your household.
This will also help if your Shelter Mutt gets lost (or stolen) because our Disaster Preparedness Checklist includes Microchipping your dog, keeping tags on your dog’s collar, having a copy of your dog’s vaccination records digitally and in your kit, and flyers with your dog’s picture and description.
It’s an excellent idea to have a Rescue Alert sticker on or near your front door with what kind of pets are in the house and how many. Please remember to write the word EVACUATED or SAFE WITH ME on the sticker if you leave your home and have your pets with you during an emergency. You do not want to endanger the life of a first responder who may go in searching for pets (who can hide when scared) if your pet is no longer in the home.
While putting together an Emergency Kit please keep in mind that each dog (or other pet) may have individual medical or emotional needs. Our checklists should be seen as starting places for necessities and then you can customize for your Shelter Mutt’s unique needs.
And please, keep your Shelter Mutt safe! Preparation goes a looooong way in doing that!
If you have any suggestions or comments/helpful tips in keeping pets safe during disaster – we would love to hear them!