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National Pet Preparedness Month

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The Importance Of Having Emergency Plans For Your Pets

Emergency situations happen when you least expect them. There is no good time for an emergency, but it’s important to be well prepared for them when they do happen. This is especially true when it comes to our pets as they mostly rely on us, responsible pet owners, to handle and prepare for emergency situations. The entire month of June is celebrated as National Pet Preparedness Month which acts as a friendly reminder of what you should do in an emergency situation or natural disaster. This article will discuss the various emergency situations that can threaten both you and your pet’s well being, tips on how to be prepared for such emergency situations, and what actions you should take when you and your pet are in an emergency situation. 

What Is An Emergency Situation

Life can be unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be well prepared for it. Emergency situations happen everyday, some are man-made and some are considered natural disasters. House fires can be started in a variety of ways, some accidental, some out of neglect, and some are just freak accidents. Regardless, the solution is to escape the house safely. Families often run regular fire drills for these situations and your pets should be included in those plans and/or fire drills. Mother nature can also be rather unpredictable. What natural disasters you may be susceptible to will vary depending on your location. Some of which include tornados, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. Although how you should respond to these emergency situations will vary, they are all dangerous situations to be in and should not be taken lightly. Being well prepared for these situations can make the difference between life and death for both you, your family, and your pets (which are also family).  

Being Prepared For An Emergency Situation

You can’t be 100% prepared for everything, but it’s still important to try. Every emergency situation, whether natural or manmade, can be handled better with a little bit of planning. As for your pets, one of the best things you can do for them before an emergency is giving them proper and up-to-date identification. Make sure your pets’ identification tags are visible and up-to-date. Having your pet microchipped is another great way to keep them safe and identifiable should they become lost during an emergency situation. Another way to be prepared is knowing where to go in an emergency situation. If you find yourself in the midst of a flood or wildfire and have to evacuate your home, it’s important you know where to evacuate to. Keep a list of relocation options and phone numbers so you have immediate options of places to go. Speaking of contact info, it’s also important to know who to contact in case you’re not home when an emergency situation occurs. Create a game plan with your neighbors and/or family relatives on what to do for your pets when an emergency situation occurs. And lastly, make an emergency kit for your pet should you have to evacuate your home. Some useful items to keep in your pet kit include things like bottles of water, a few days worth of food, copies of veterinarian records, extra medication, poop bags, cat litter and pan, extra leash and collar, a favorite toy, and a first aid kit. To learn more about pet first aid supplies, check out our previous article entitled Pet First Aid Awareness Month.

What To Do In An Emergency Situation

How you respond to an emergency situation will vary depending on the type of emergency. While it’s difficult to be fully prepared for every situation, having a basic plan for any and all emergencies is essential. Having a set plan or order of operations for when you find yourself in an emergency situation will help keep things less chaotic and reduce your stress and anxiety. Step one, stay calm and collected. Your family and your pets are relying on you to keep them safe. Step two, stay together. Keep your family and pets together so you don’t get separated and/or lost. Step three, stick to the plan you made beforehand based on the emergency you find yourself in. Step four, gather the supplies you will need. You should have an emergency supply kit ready for this kind of situation stocked with various things you, your family, and your pets will need. Step five, get to a safe place. Whether you have to evacuate to another location or hunker down in your basement, get you, your family, and your pets somewhere safe and out of harm’s way. This is just the basics of an emergency plan and yours will vary based upon the emergency situation. 

Being Prepared Can Save Lives

We all lead busy lives and it’s easy to put things off until later. But, being unprepared for an emergency situation can be dangerous and even fatal. Don’t put you, your family, or your pets at risk by not being properly prepared. Have a plan in place for any given emergency situation, no matter how unlikely. Make sure your family members and/or roommates are aware of these emergency plans and fully understand what to do should an emergency arise. Emergencies can be stressful and chaotic, but being prepared and having a set plan in place will help keep you calm, focused, and motivated to handle nearly anything life throws your way. For more info about pet preparedness during emergency situations, check out the Pet Poison Hotline website. 

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