Here is the weekly note written by D. Frantz…
In the wake of the current disasters facing our nation, it is more than appropriate that September is National Animal Preparedness Month. From wild fires to tornadoes to flash flooding, there are many instances where we have to be prepared to get our families and pets to safety in a quick and efficient manner.
The most important thing you can do is plan ahead! In the heat-of-the-moment is NOT the time to consider what your best options are. Plan… Practice our plan… Modify your plans as your household changes… Plan again… Practice again!
While constructing your evacuation plan, think about these things:
1. What is your evacuation route…out of your home, out of your neighborhood, out of your area?
2. What roads are easily accessed and fuel is available?
3. Where will you go that can accommodate your family? Do they accept pets or small livestock?
4. Are your pets currently easily identifiable with name tags or microchips?
Your next task is to create a Pet Emergency Kit, which is very similar to what you will make for your human family members (except for the poop clean-up bags). Here’s what I would put in my Pet Emergency Kit:
1. Microchip registration (make sure your microchip is part of a national database)
2. Ownership/Registration papers, medical history, vaccination documentation
3. A recent picture highlighting any distinctive markings
4. Three to seven days of food and water and appropriate bowls
5. All medications: flea & tick prevention, first aid cream, prescriptions
6. Collars or harness and appropriate leashes
7. Crate for smaller pets and cages for larger pets
8. Litter for cats/poop clean-up bags for dogs
9. A familiar toy or blanket that smells like home for comforting
Except for the carriers, all these items can be easily stored in a 5-gallon bucket. To minimize space, scan your paper documents and put a current file in your emergency kit. Our clinic would be more than happy to scan and store any important documents for your pet in our medical files.
Practice your plan! Grab your go-to items and get your animals loaded. Get out of your area and towards a “safe zone” as quickly as possible. How quickly could you find and catch your cat that likes to play “hide-and-go-seek”? How easily can you control your dog who is sensing so much anxiety in the air? Assume you have 5-15 minutes to get out. Can you do it?
Make sure your pets are accustomed to car rides at all times of day or night. By practicing the loading and unloading of our pet, they will be less anxious the next time (they’ll also be happier coming to visit us!). Reward them for a job well done.
In the unlikely event that your pet is left behind, notify your microchip service immediately as well as area veterinarians and animal shelters.
Your best protection for your family is a plan, a rehearsed plan. So, grab your furry friends, and let’s drive to Sonic for a drill! We’ll share a milk shake, spend 15 minutes listening to the radio and all be the wiser for any disaster that comes our way.
Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can help you with.