Include Your Pets in Your Preparedness Plans
September is National Preparedness Month and today is September 11th the day America was attacked. You never know what lies ahead or what tomorrow has in store. Therefore, take this month (September) and do something everyday that will help prepare you and your family for the “next one” whether that be terrorist, hurricanes, tornados, or a power outage. As you make preparations for the safety of your family do not forget about the safety of your pets. Remember, that if the situation appears to not be safe for you then it is not safe for your pet either. If evacuation is necessary then you have to take your pet with you. Many who evacuated during Hurricane Katrina thought that it would only be for a couple of days. Since they thought they would be right back they left their pets behind with enough food and water for a couple of days. Unfortunately, it was much longer then a couple of days and those people who left animals behind were not allowed back into the city to get their pets. Do not ket this happen to your pets. Include your pets in your preparedness plans. You would not leave your child or elderly parent behind, so do not leave your pet either. However, most shelters will not except animals (even if they are in a pet carrier). Be sure to have plans in place in case you have to go to a shelter but can not bring your pet. Talk to neighbors, relatives, friends or your veterinarian and make arrangements to see if you could have them watch your pets in case you had to be separated from them. If you are not planning on going to a shelter then check out in advance any hotels or motels that would be pet friendly or would make an exception in case of a emergency or disaster. Your pets depend on you to take care of them so don’t let them down by abandoning them in a emergency. Be sure to include your pets in your emergency and disaster drills. Get them use to being in their carrier and traveling in the car. Be sure to keep their vaccinations up to date. Make sure they have a secured collar on with identification in case the two of you get separated. Finally, consider taking some basic first aid training for animals in case you have to give your pet CPR or have to bandage a wounded leg. Everything runs smoother if it is planned ahead of time and practiced regularly. Don’t forget to plan for your pets in your emergency and disaster preparedness plans.