If a disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to be scrambling around last minute to help your pet. A natural disaster plan means making preparations ahead of time to ensure that all members of the family, pets included, are ready for anything. As experts in disaster relief, we turned to Hill’s Pet Nutrition to understand what it takes to make a plan, and we’re sharing the step-by-step with you!
1. Use a microchip and/or collar I.D.
Microchipping can help increase the odds of getting a lost cat or dog back. Whether a daunting storm is moving in, or someone leaves the back gate open, we’ll always feel grateful we took this simple step. But even with a microchip, make sure your pet has a collar I.D. with up-to-date contact information.
2. Know your pet’s hiding spots.
When our pets are scared or feel threatened, they often respond by hiding. But when disasters hit, time is of the essence. Know exactly where your pet goes when they’re scared (think thunder and fireworks), so that you can evacuate faster if need be.
3. Determine a pet-friendly place in case of evacuation.
Wildfires, hurricanes, floods—evacuation is sometimes the only way to guarantee safety. Make sure you’ve determined a pet-friendly place where you can evacuate to. Have a just-in-case conversation with a friend or family member who loves your pet and cares about their safety as much as you do.
4. Carry a picture of your pet in case you get separated.
As they say, prepare for the worst but hope for the best. In the event you’re ever separated from your pet, keep a picture of them handy. This can help rescuers identify and return your furry friend if they’ve gone missing. We’ll guess there’s no shortage of pictures on your phone, but throw a hard copy in your wallet just in case.
5. Keep a pet carrier or crate on hand.
When our pets are scared, they’re prone to run or react. Stow a pet carrier or crate to help you transport your pet more comfortably and safely. Pro tip: Line your carrier with a quick-absorbing pad in advance so you don’t have to worry about accidents.
6. Build an emergency kit for your pet.
Expecting the unexpected is smart pet parenting, and an emergency kit is the essence of preparedness. According to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, your emergency kit should include: