September is National Preparedness Month. Here are some simple, yet essential tips for safeguarding your most vulnerable family members – your pets – during an emergency.
From hurricanes to wildfires, disasters and emergencies arrive in many different forms. Often without warning. Some require simple precautionary steps, while others might necessitate temporary – or even permanent evacuation.
Do you have a plan in place? Is your pet catered for should the worst happen?
1. Make Sure Your Pet is Tagged
Sounds simple, but according to AVMA data only 19% of cats reported lost had an ID tag. Assuming a similar rate for dogs, and that’s a lot of potentially unaccounted for animals. If, for whatever reason a pet goes missing due to an emergency, you want to reunite with them ASAP, right? ID tags are the best hope of achieving that.
Ensure your pet is wearing a collar with your up-to-date contact information, including cell number, microchip number and rabies tag at ALL times.
Want to go the extra mile and get an ultra-cool tag? Our e-partner Dog Tag Art offer a huge selection of highly-fashionable, personalized ID tags to transform your pet into the coolest cat (or dog) in the neighborhood.
2. Choose an Emergency Caregiver
If you’re home when disaster strikes and need to leave in a hurry, the advice is simple. Always take your pets with you. But if what if you’re elsewhere? What if you’re not able to get home immediately or at all?
In such a scenario, it’s important to have a reliable stand-in caregiver – preferably a neighbor, friend or family member who lives nearby. The criteria is simple – they must be trustworthy and animal-friendly. They should be able to enter your house (give them a spare key) and know exactly where to look for your pet and any emergency supplies they might need. Speaking of which…
3. Make up an Emergency Travel Kit with Supplies
Your emergency travel kit should contain everything your pet needs for their short-term well-being. It should also be kept in a place where you, your immediate family members and emergency care giver have access – preferably close to an exit.
Items for your pet’s travel kit:
- A week’s supply of bottled water, specifically for your pet (you’ll need extra for you and your family)
- A week’s worth of food (dry or canned) – be sure to regularly check it’s in date
- Travel-proof feeding dishes, water bowls and scoops
- Up to two-week supply of medication (where applicable), again, be sure to check everything’s in date
- Toys and treats – very important
- Chews, extra leashes and poop bags for your pup
- Disposable litter trays for your kitty
- Towels, paper toweling, pillows and blankets
- A travel crate (one per pet) – you can even keep all the supplies inside, for easy storage
- Animal-friendly wet wipes and garbage bags for clean-up
Outside of actual planning, Preparedness Month is all about adopting the mentality of being ready for the worst. Think ahead. Have you assessed your family’s risk for particular disasters? www.ready.gov/ has information on what do in the event of any kind of disaster, whether natural or man-made, plus helpful risk assessments for the area you live in as well as handy tips for your furry family members.
4. How Activ4Pets Can Help
Mobile Veterinary Records
In times of disaster, health records are easier to retrieve through electronic means. They’re probably the last thing on your mind, but could prove invaluable. And paper records are too easily damaged or destroyed.
Imagine having to evacuate your home. Could you remember all your pet’s allergies or medications off the top of your head? Dosages? Due date? What if they are diabetic and you forgot to bring their insulin… Would you have the old prescription handy to order more? Should you unexpectedly be displaced, Activ4Pets provides instant, cloud access to medical records (including PDF documentation for prescriptions) through any device connected to the internet. All your pet’s veterinary records (allergies, vaccinations, conditions, etc.) travel with you giving you complete peace of mind. It also stores practical data like insurance information, your vet’s contact number, and microchip number.
Online Virtual Vet Visit
Who knows where you’ll end up or how far from home you’ll be. If your vet participates, Activ4Pets allows you to connect remotely for a Virtual Visit, without the need to travel directly to them. You’ll have the familiar, friendly face of your own vet to assist should you need to ask health questions or get advice on the go.