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Evacuating Pets

Pets and Emergencies
If storms or forest fires force an evacuation, never leave your pets behind. Know your pets' hiding places so that you can easily find them in times of stress.

If you hear reports that a storm is approaching and your home is in the evacuation area, leave early. Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate or prepare to evacuate. Transport small pets in a sturdy pet carrier, this makes the pet feel safer and more secure, and it reduces the chance they will become lost. If a storm is approaching do not leave pets outside or tied up.

Pack a supply of drinking water, pet medications, medical records, emergency contacts, a current color photograph of your pet and a leash or harness for your pet. Also pack a copy of all pet's current vaccination and health records, license numbers and microchip numbers.

It is generally not a good idea to confine a dog and cat together, even if the two are normally friendly. Stressful times can bring out aggression in pets that might be friendly. Keep small pets, such as rabbits, mice and birds, away from dogs and cats, this will help reduce their anxiety levels. Leave difficult or aggressive animals in crates or cages to reduce the chance of the animals getting loose or causing additional stress, in an already difficult situation.

Remember your pets rely on you, help them rest comfortably, keeping them warm or cool. Be sure to use a leash or harness on your pet when they are out of their carrier, scary situations may cause them to take flight. All pets should always wear up-to-date identification, including a tag with a phone number in case you become separated.

Preparedness is particularly important for livestock because of the animals' size and their shelter and transportation needs. Always evacuate animals as soon as possible. If you have horses, know where you can take your animals. Friend or other livestock owners may be able to help. Be prepared and ready to leave once the evacuation is ordered.

When packing for your livestock be sure to include a basic first aid kit, along with a supply of water, hay, feed, medications, Coggins tests, veterinary papers, and identification photographs. In addition, if the animals are sheltered off your property, make sure they remain in the groupings they are accustom to.

In the aftermath of an emergency or evacuation, be extra careful when letting your pet loose outdoors and be sure your pet wears an identification tag. They may become easily disoriented or injured from debris.

About the Author
Francesca Black has worked in the emergency services field for more than 10 years. More information available at Prepare for Emergency http://www.prepare-for-emergency.com

 
 
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