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Many people aren't prepared when a natural disaster hits their community and procrastinate making an emergency plan. But for pet parents, their pets are counting on them. From floods, to fires, and earthquakes, the key to keeping everyone safe is to plan ahead. Here are some recommendations on disaster preparedness for pet parents.
Dogs are more than twice as likely to make it home if they are chipped. And in cats, it’s even more dramatic - microchipped cats are 20x more likely to be reunited with their owners. Pet parents need to make sure that their pet’s chip is registered with the correct address and contact information. Double-down by ensuring that the pet is also wearing their collar with tags and that the tags have at least two phone numbers on them. If the pet is separated during a disaster, these steps could be the key to reuniting.
A pets emergency kit should include:
One-week supply of food & water: Store food in a water-tight container, and refresh the stash every few months. For canned food, don’t forget a manual can opener.
Medication: At least a one-week supply of the pet's medications.
Copies of vaccination records: Keep digital and physical copies of each pet's medical records and vaccinations. Fuzzy Members can download and print theirs from the Fuzzy app.
Recent Pet ID Photos: To help in identification, proof of ownership, or creation of “lost pet” materials.
Pet first aid kit: A basic first aid kit for minor injuries.
Carrier or leash: One per animal. Have a pet carrier on-hand for cats and small animals.
Pet care instructions: In case the pet must be left temporarily with a friend or foster.
Service animal paperwork: If the pet is a certified service animal, keep a record of all licensing records.
The Fuzzy app has a lot of this information, like medical records, pet photos and stats, and vaccine certificates, but it’s still important to keep a printed version in case devices run out of battery.
Pet parents should coordinate with a neighbor to check in on their pets in case they can’t make it home. And keep a set of spare keys in a lockbox. Meeting points, evacuation routes, and potential pet-friendly lodging should be identified on their route. It's handy to periodically update the list of pet-friendly hotels in the area. Lastly, pet parents should have an indicator in their home like a window sticker, that lets emergency responders know there are pets inside. In an emergency situation, if they need to evacuate the home with pets, "evacuated" should be written on the sticker so emergency responders don't spend time and resources looking for the pets. Try by any means not to leave pets behind. If conditions are not safe for humans, they're not safe for pets.