It's THAT time of of year again, Friends. Disaster Preparedness!! With all of the flooding in Texas, and ongoing preparations for fall-time hurricanes, now is the perfect time to plan ahead - To save our pets!
Our pets are our family members - and there are many ways we can ensure their safety during the uncertain times of disaster.
First, and most simply - Both the American Red Cross and The Humane Society host information and classes on Pet First Aid and Pet Disaster Preparedness.
In a hurry or emergency, you can use this pet CPR guide (above).
Also, make sure to post this kind of decal in every window of your home (there are many similar styles to choose from). Place the notifier/sticker especially at the front door where rescuers can see it. If you and your FuzzFace are separated, this helps rescuers who are specifically trained to look for pet identifiers. Many can be found for purchase online or at your local Fire Station.
In the case that you are separated from your pet, area shelters partner with local disaster response agencies to shelter all pets until owners can be located. This is a new guidline in FEMA's 2012 mass-care initiative - a sad but very viable lesson (of many) learned from the failures of Hurrcane Katrina.
Make sure your contact info can be located on or with your FurPal!
Finally - REMEMBER to pack a Disaster-GoBag for your pet.
We have one for the adults in the home, one for our daughter, and one for Fonzie. Fonzie's bag contains first aid items (a full list can be found here) as well as a blanket, comfort item, collapsable bowl, foldable water bottle, 4 cans of high calorie food, and some high-reward treats to help maintain his focus.
Belongings can fit in one adult standard-size backpack. Further, he can also WEAR his own backpack (no more than 5-10 pounds, large breed)...Your dog will expend a lot of energy maintaining his calm during a high-anxiety activity so too much weight will wear him out.
I have yet to hear of a fellow brave enough to get a cat to wear a pack...best to put Kitty's stuff in with the family's!
Petco has very affordable packs for all pet sizes! So does Amazon...here, you can scope some out (click!)
Lastly - There is a handy Pet Safety App!
The app is available for Android and also for IPhone in the ITunes Store (right here). The app includes step-by-step instructions for all kinds of emergency scenarios. Feel free to check out FEMA's www.Ready.gov for more information...
If there is ONE THING I've learned as both a rescuer and national disaster response coordinator, it's that we take our pets with us.
NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND!
Arthur Fonzarelli (Fonzie) and I thank you for reading! Happy Prepping!