Are Your Pets Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

dog and cat laying on carpet

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, which is the ideal time to assess your emergency plan. Make sure you’re prepared in case a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster hits your area.

Pre-Emergency Planning

Doing a little prep work ahead of time means you’ll have one less thing to worry about if you’re ever faced with a natural disaster. Here are a few easy ways to prepare:

Tag your pet. Make sure your dog or cat is wearing a collar with an identification tag. The tag should include your pet’s name and your phone number. Also consider adding a pet GPS tracker to your pet’s collar.

Microchip your pet. It’s a quick and easy process, and it increases the odds that you’ll be reunited with your pet if you’re ever separated.

Download the Pet First Aid app (iOS, Android). This will come in handy if your pet gets hurt or you need to locate an emergency animal hospital.

Review FEMA’s brochure on preparing your pet for an emergency. It includes information on creating an emergency kit and what to do during a crisis.

Get a pet rescue alert sticker. You can request a decal through the ASPCA and affix it to a window near your home’s front door. It indicates to rescue workers that there are pets inside.

Prepare an emergency kit for each pet. This should include a leash, collar or harness, extra ID tag, pet carrier, food and fresh water for at least three days (rotate out every few months to ensure freshness), bowls, medication, waste bags or cat litter and pan, first aid kit, pet bed, toys, a copy of your pet’s medical records, and a current photo of your pet in case he gets lost.

During the Emergency

woman on couch with dog and catWhen seeking shelter in your own home (like during a tornado, for example), choose an interior room with as few windows as possible. You’ll also want to be sure the room is free of any household chemicals or plants that could harm your pet. Also, make sure you have your emergency kit with you.

If you need to evacuate yourself and your pet, there are several options for seeking shelter — a pet-friendly hotel, family or friends, pet boarders, veterinary clinics. Hotels that don’t typically accept pets may also be an option, as some waive their no-pets policy during an emergency. And if you have a pet rescue alert sticker on your window, be sure to write “EVACUATED” on it before you leave your home so rescue workers know you took your pet with you.

If you’re going to be displaced for a while and need your pet’s Home Delivery orders shipped to a different address, contact our Pet Owner Care team at (877) 738-4443. They can update your shipping address to ensure your pet’s products get delivered to your location.

Post-Emergency Tips

Once the emergency has passed, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. These kinds of stressful situations can cause pets to become aggressive or disoriented. Try to keep your pet calm, and contact a veterinarian if his behavior doesn’t improve.

Also watch out for any hazards that may have resulted from the emergency, like downed trees, debris, or spilled chemicals. And if you were separated from your pet, contact animal control, local shelters, and the microchip company (if your pet is microchipped) for help locating your pet.