Hurricanes Irma and Harvey are devastating reminders that disaster preparedness saves lives. American Humane urges pet owners to take two simple – yet essential – steps to ensure you and your animal companions are ready before the next catastrophe strikes.
First, pets should always wear collars and ID tags with their name, a cell phone number and any medical needs. American Humane also recommends microchipping your pet. Microchips aren’t GPS devices, but merely devices to store emergency contact information, which animal owners must keep up to date. Not sure where your best friend stands? Ask your veterinarian to check your pet’s microchip.
Second, American Humane recommends developing a pet-specific disaster plan and evacuation kit, including an extensive list of safe places – such as emergency animal shelters, pet-friendly hotels, and trusted relatives and friends in another region – who could house your pets during an emergency; a comfortable pet carrier or crate; a favorite toy or comfort item, like a blanket; one-week supplies of water, nonperishable food and medications; copies of veterinary records and vaccination history; and recent photos of you holding your pet.
Our beloved four-legged family members should never be left behind in a disaster. To protect your pets, be prepared.
Robin Ganzert, President and CEO, American Humane, Washington D.C.