It’s that time of the year again, as I’m sure you’re all aware. TORNADO SEASON! Although we can’t avoid the bad weather, we can prepare ourselves to try to protect our families, four legged babies included. It is extremely important that we not only have a disaster kit for ourselves, but for our pets as well. That is where this list comes in.
FIRST, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU GET A RESCUE ALERT STICKER! These are so you can write down how many animals of each kind are inside the house and the name and phone number of your veterinarian. Make sure you place this in a spot visible to rescue workers. These are important in case of a fire as well. If you take your pets with you, it is recommended that you write “EVACUATED” across the sticker - if time allows - to notify emergency workers. These can be ordered for free through the ASPCA on their website. www.aspca.org
If you know a storm is coming, bring all of your pets into the house so that you wonâ€™t have to search for them if you have to leave to get to the emergency shelter in a hurry. Know all of your pets hiding places in and out of the house. Close as many doors as possible to limit search areas. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
Make sure all your pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification at all times. Your petâ€™s ID tag should include his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs.
The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. The microchip can be read at most animal shelters and veterinarians.
Hereâ€™s a list of supplies that are important to have on hand in case of an emergency (tornado or otherwise!)
Basic first aid kit, along with a first aid book for pets. Food and water for at least 5 days for each pet. (Be sure to rotate food in emergency kit every few months so it stays fresh.) Pet bowls and a manual can opener if youâ€™re packing canned food. Medications, medical records, and proof of ownership stored in a waterproof container. (Make sure you rotate medicines too as they can go out of date.) A current picture and physical description of your pets in case you get separated. A safety harness and leash. (Harnesses are recommended for safety and security.) Disposable litter box, litter, garbage bags to collect waste, and litter scoop. Liquid dish soap or disinfectant. Flashlight with extra batteries. Blankets. Familiar toys and bedding to reduce stress. It is important to plan for the worst-case scenario so pack everything that you think you could possibly need in case of a natural disaster.
Animal Family Practice: (501) 653-0111 National Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: (888) 426-4435 American Humane Association: (800) 227-4645 American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): (212) 876-7700 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): (847) 925-8070 Pet Finders (PetFinder.com): (800) 666-5678