Like many mid-Atlantic states, Virginia is no stranger to severe storms, flooding, extreme heat, and power outages. Since natural disasters are anything but rare anymore, it makes sense to prepare for any eventuality.
Your pet’s safety and well-being during any disaster rank high on the priority list. In fact, their very survival may hinge on your ability to plan for an emergency situation.
How to Get Started
Pet disaster preparedness can sometimes fall to the wayside because none of us like to think about the worst case scenario. However, in this case, planning can help you avoid a bad outcome.
Collecting supplies to lean on in the case of a natural disaster can make all the difference. The basic kit for survival will include enough water and food to last at least 3 days. We recommend you have one waterproof, airtight kit stashed in the case of sheltering at home, and one that can be easily carried if you have to evacuate. Keep your pet’s crate or travel kennel nearby. Rotate your supplies out as you approach expiration dates, and always replenish the contents of your prep kits.
Pet disaster preparedness kits should also include:
- A recent photo of your pet (one with you is ideal in case you ever have to prove ownership)
- Their medical history and records (including microchip information)
- Prescription medicine
- First-aid kit
- Backup leash/collar/ID tags
- Waste bags/gloves/litter/trash bags
Consider the items your pet depends on during a normal day. Include these to soothe any stress and anxiety that are naturally part of any disruptions to routine.
Pet Disaster Preparedness
To protect your pet, and guarantee their safety and survival, plan ahead. Regardless of the type of natural disaster and your circumstances, be prepared to make the choice to stay home or seek safety elsewhere. No matter what you decide, your pet must stay with you at all times. Keep in mind that emergency evacuation centers are not able to accommodate pets. As a result, we recommend having a list of alternative locations, from hotels to relatives houses, that you know can shelter you and your pet.
Additionally, keep a list of emergency veterinary hospitals within a certain radius, especially those with boarding facilities.
A Buddy for My Buddy
Natural disasters are chaotic and frightening, but establishing and adhering to a buddy system can ensure that everyone in your home gets to safety. Have a meeting place in mind, and run drills beforehand to ensure you’re all on the same page.
If you are sheltering at home, be sure that exterior, front-facing windows have stickers on them to alert emergency personnel that pets live inside. A list of household animals, breeds, and names can facilitate their rescue if it ever comes to that.
Stay Alert, Stay Calm
Thinking about pet disaster preparedness makes us all a bit uneasy. We never want to plan for the worst to happen. The fact remains that the more we plan for disasters the better equipped we are to survive.
If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s safety and security during a natural disaster, please reach out to us at (540) 951‑1002. Our team is always happy to help!