Friday, September 30, 2011

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets: Part 1

Do You Have a Plan?
With this year’s disasters reminding us of the uncertainty each day can bring it also bring to light the fact that many of us are unprepared for such disasters or even unexpected daily circumstances.  Living in Southern California you become familiar with not only the threat of earthquakes but also the yearly threat of wildfires.  And as we approach the dry season of fall we face the threat of a wildfire everyday.   
While natural disasters are the first emergency to come to mind, we forget to consider the smaller emergencies that can happen in day to day life that might keep us from our pet or force us from our homes temporarily.  Consider the following scenarios:  You work in Los Angeles and you get a call that your house in on fire; You are in Chicago and you get a call that your wife has gone into labor 3 weeks early; You are in a car accident and consequently stuck in the hospital for a week; A pipe broke and your house is flooded forcing you to evacuate until the damage is repaired.  
Each one of those scenarios can happen and the last thing you wanted to stress over is “Who is going to get my dog” or “who is going to watch my dog?”  Sadly, most people don’t even have an emergency preparedness plan for themselves, let alone for their animals.  But if you spend just a couple of hours one weekend coming up with an emergency plan for your family, it will save you stress and time in an emergency situation when every second counts.
5 Steps to Becoming Prepared
Step 1
Rescue Alert Sticker- These stickers are meant to go in the front window of your home so in case of an emergency someone else can be sure that all of your pets get out safely.  
The sticker should say:
·         The types of pets you have as well as how many you have of each pet
·         Your veterinarian’s name and phone number.

Jenn McDougall and her roommate in Corona always have a current Rescue Alert Sticker posted for their 3 dogs and 1 cat.  “Our pets are our babies, and we couldn’t imagine losing them because of our own negligence.  I feel like it would be our own fault if they weren’t evacuated in an emergency because how would a rescue team know they were in there otherwise?”
If you are able to evacuate your pets yourself, and you have time, try to remember to write “Evacuated” across your sticker so no one risks their life trying to save pets that are not in danger.

You can buy this sticker at most pet supply stores, ask your veterinarian if they have any, or order one for free from the ASPCA website.

No comments:

Post a Comment