We’ve learned from countless disasters that people often will put their own lives at risk — and the lives of first responders as well — if there are no options for relocating with their animal companions. Public planning now includes pets, and your own planning should, too. Here are the basics you need to know:
— Have a plan. Prepare for all possibilities, and make sure everyone in your family knows what to do. Try to figure out now what’s most likely for you and your community, and how you will respond. Where will you go? What will you take? You need to get these answers in advance. Get to know your neighbors, and put a plan in place to help each other out. Find out from local shelters and veterinary organizations — and your family’s own veterinarian — what emergency response plans are in place and how you fit into them in case of a disaster.
— ID your pets. Many, if not most, animals will survive a disaster. But too many will never see their families again if there’s no way to determine which pet belongs to which family. That’s why pets should always wear a collar and identification tags with your cellphone number and the numbers of a couple of out-of-area contacts. Better still is the additional permanent identification that can’t slip off, such as a tattoo or an embedded microchip.
Read the rest in this week’s Pet Connection!