The recent typhoon devastation in the Philippines is a reminder of just how powerful Mother Nature can be. Living in Florida, I keep a close eye on the Atlantic hurricane season which comes to a close at the end of the month. Hopefully, it will end with no major storms in my area, but it was just one year ago that Hurricane Sandy unexpectedly pummeled the East Coast. And with winter making an early appearance in Chicago this week with the season’s first snowfall, an article on how to prepare your pets for weather disasters seemed appropriate.
1. Get a Rescue Alert Sticker to let people know that pets are inside your home.
Put it in a visible place and include the types and number of pets in your household as well as your veterinarian’s contact information. You can get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home from the ASPCA.
2. Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the chance you must evacuate.
If the situation is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets so don’t leave them behind. Not all disaster shelters accept pets, so have a place determined ahead of time that you can bring your pets. This can include:
3. Have emergency supplies on hand.
Put them together in a kit that’s easy to carry and clearly labeled.
4. Choose possible caregivers.
Have someone in mind who you would entrust the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you.
5. Prepare for evacuation.
Always plan for the worst, and follow the instructions of local and state officials. Bring your emergency kit (#3) with you. In addition:
6. Storm proof your home.
If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, plan accordingly.
1. Potty inside.
Train your dog to be able to potty on command on newspaper or a training pad in case conditions outside are unsafe.
2. Be comfortable with crate training.
Familiarize your dog with a crate in case you need to evacuate.
3. Play games.
Have a repertoire of games to play in case you are stuck indoors with your dog for a long period of time. Teach your dog a new trick or use a brain stimulating game like “Find it” to burn off energy and distract you both from the disaster at hand.
Want more information on how you can help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines? Here is a list of organizations mobilizing and deploying relief efforts.
Image Source: Tender Care Animal Hospital