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Pet Preparedness & Protecting Your Pets Before The Tornado

Tornadoes cause devastation, destroying families, property, and communities, so it’s really important that you have everything covered in your tornado preparedness plans — and that includes all members of the family. Pets rely on their pet parents for food, safety, and security, and that means all of the time.

I know that during an emergency situation your animals might have to wait until all human members of your family are safe, but there are a few things you can do to make sure that they are included in your hurricane preparedness plan. Fail to prepare for a tornado, and prepare to fail in your efforts to keep your family, property, and pets safe.

 

Make Sure that All Members of Your Family are Safe

Tornadoes cause havoc and devastation for communities, families and properties, but there’s someone (or something) else which needs to be part of your tornado preparedness program: your beloved pets. Pets depend on their owners for their care before a tornado, and nothing changes during or after the tornado has gone. In fact, that’s when they are even more dependent on you than before.

If you have pets, you need to prepare for their needs in advance of a tornado, anticipating all eventualities. The most effective way to be prepared is to imagine that all services will be disrupted (power, stores, water, roads, phones) and then figure out how you can prepare for your pets properly in such an emergency hurricane situation.

 

Be Prepared In Case Of Evacuation

It might seem unlikely at the beginning of the hurricane that you will be evacuated, but you still need to be prepared just in case the worst happens. Make sure that you have everything ready to go if you do need to be evacuated, including your pet’s ID and papers, food, water, carrier, leash, muzzle (if necessary) and any medication.

 

Take Pets With You

If you are evacuated during a tornado emergency, it’s very important that you take your pets with you if at all possible. If you leave your animals behind, they can easily become injured, lost, or even killed. You may imagine that they are safe inside the house but can easily escape or become injured during tornado damage. However, taking pets with you might not always be an option, in which case you need to be even more organized.

  • Public Transport: Public transport does not always allow pets to hitch a ride. Bus routes could very well be changed because of storm damage. If you rely on public transport, you need a back-up plan.
  • Leave Quickly: Get out quickly. If you see that an evacuation is on the cards, don’t hang about until the emergency services are insisting upon emergency evacuations. You might not be able to take your pets with you in such a situation if you wait until the last minute.
  • Emergency Shelters: Some emergency shelters will not accommodate pets. Do research beforehand and keep a list of pet-friendly accommodations that are available. If you think you may have to evacuate your home because of a tornado emergency, give them a call before you leave home (and whilst the phone lines are still working) to see if they have the space available. Public compounds and shelters could soon find themselves over-flowing with animals.
  • Have Another Option: Check with friends and family about who may be willing to care for your pets in a hurricane emergency. If you have lots of pets you might have to rely on lots of friends.

Make sure that ALL members of your family are safe and accounted for when the next tornado strikes.

 

Tornado Pet Protection Tips

It goes without saying that the majority of responsible pet owners will already have most of these emergency precautions in place, but just check down the list to be on the safe side, it sure is better to be safe than sorry. Here are some tips to keep your pet safe during a disaster situation:

Collar and/or Identification: Always ensure that your pet is wearing a collar, or has other means of identification. A tiny painless microchip is probably the best idea because collars can come off. Just remember the images of the thousands of pets which became separated from their owners in previous hurricane disasters with no hope of a reunion. If your pet has a chip and you do get separated, there’s always the chance that you can be reunited at a later date.

Emergency Pet Supplies: Don’t forget to provide for your pet with the rest of your emergency supplies. Make sure that you have plenty of their food and enough water for everybody. Just remember that the running water in your house may not be working, or may not be safe to drink, so if you are house bound for a few days then you’re going to need plenty of supplies which means both food and water — for your family and your pets.

Pet Medications: If your pet takes medication, make sure that you have a few days’ supply in a safe yet accessible place, just in case you can’t get to the veterinarians for a week or two. Make up a pet safety kit which includes any medication, but don’t forget to check your supplies regularly for an expiration date. Update regularly to be on the safe side.

Pet Carriers: Think about how you’ll cope with your pet if you have to evacuate your home. Make sure that you have a suitable pet carrier available, and that your pet is used to going into it and won’t cause a fuss to getting inside. Also ensure your chosen pet carrier can be properly secured so that your pet can’t escape and make a run for freedom.

Pet Toys & Blankets: Don’t forget to take along some of your pets favorite stuff if you have to leave your home. Just like a child will settle much better in a strange environment if they have some familiar blankets or toys, the same goes for animals. Your pet may be frightened and confused too, so having a few familiar bits and pieces around can help him to stay calm.

Have a Backup Plan: It’s a good idea to have a “second home” where your pet can stay if necessary, somewhere they are familiar with, with people whom they like and are comfortable with. Kind of like a pet “aunt” or “uncle” really, or adoptive pet parents.

Stay Calm: Don’t panic. It’s important that you stay calm if you are ever faced with an emergency hurricane situation. People and pets can become easily frightened in these situations, and it’s up to you to keep everything as calm and organized as possible. Remember to speak in a calm and reassuring tone, watch your body language for “giveaways” and remember to pamper your pet with a little extra lovin’. This can work two ways: it can help to calm your pet as well as helping you to stay calm!

 


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