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Emergency Preparedness and Your Pets

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf coast and left tens of thousands of people homeless, stories began coming out about the millions of homeless pets that were also affected. In a disaster the magnitude of Katrina, a pet-related catastrophe was essentially inevitable, especially for those that stayed behind to face the storm; however, you don’t have to be separated from your pet if disaster strikes your home town. Follow the tips below and you can survive your next emergency with your best four legged friend intact.

Know where to go

One of the biggest reasons why so many pets got left behind after Katrina, or after any major natural disaster, is the perception that most hotels don’t allow pets. It is true that a majority of hotels don’t, but many do, including some national chains. If you own pets, make sure you have a list in your emergency kit of every hotel within a 30- or 50-mile range that accepts pets. This way, if you are forced to grab things in a hurry, you’ll have the information you need to take Fido or Fluffy along with you. A few minutes of research can literally save your pet’s life.

Have alternatives ready

If you have suffered an isolated emergency like a house fire and you are going to be staying in alternate accommodations for a while, you may need to have a list of places that take pets if they can’t stay with you. Know where your local shelters, pounds, kennels, and pet sitters are so you can drop your pet off instead of simply leaving them behind. You can also talk to your neighbors and friends about watching your pet while you recover so the two of you can be reunited at a future date.

Supplies for your pet

Although adding supplies for your pet to your emergency preparedness kit should probably be your last priority, it isn’t a bad idea to have a few extra cans of pet food and possibly any medication that your pets are on as part of your kit. You don’t want to have to share any meagre food rations that you have for yourself and your family, so making sure that your pets have their own food is important. You’ll also want to know where your pet’s travel cases are so you can grab them in a hurry. Preparing your pet for an emergency isn’t difficult; it just takes a bit of planning and a bit of good luck.