Preparing Your Pets for a Natural Disaster or Emergency

When assembling an emergency kit, its vital to make sure that youve planned ahead and included enough food and supplies to keep your pets safe and fed.

During the evacuation preceding Hurricane Irma, people werent allowed on flights out because they didnt have a carrier for their pets something that may not be on the top of your packing list if youre rushing to get out of an area before or during a disaster.

Emergency response teams understand how important it is to plan for pets as well: after Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the first SART (State Animal Response Team) was founded in North Carolina, with the first CART (County Animal Response Team) following shortly after to make sure that furry friends were safely evacuated so that their owners wouldnt stay behind and put their own lives in danger.

Its not just household pets that need to be either evacuated or contained during large-scale disasters: before Irma, there was concern that alligators would get loose from parks, wreaking havoc post-Hurricane.

So, assuming youre probably not the lucky wrangler having to watch over dangerous predators before a hurricane, lets talk about how to prepare yourself and your family pets for an emergency or natural disaster.

Keep two backpacks in your car: one for you, one for your pet. Heres a packing list for what you should bring to keep your pet safe: Every household should create a disaster plan, which should outline steps for how to evacuate yourself and pets before or during a disaster.

Getting accurate, up-to-date information is a key part of your disaster preparedness plan, so make sure you have a contingency plan and a solar-powered cell phone charger on hand. Here are some things to think about when putting together your evacuation plan for you and your pets:

Its not always possible to evacuate before a disaster hits. Here are some tips for sheltering in place with your pets: After a natural disaster or emergency, take some steps to survey your home before letting your pets off their leashes or out of their crates:

Preparing for a disaster takes some time and careful planning, but its worth it to protect our furry friends.

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