Is Your Dog Included in Your Family Disaster Preparedness Plan?
No matter what area of the U.S. you live in, you have likely experienced or will experience a natural disaster. Hopefully, the damage will be minor and you will not be displaced from your home. However, as fairly recent events across the nation have shown, this is not always the case! What’s unfortunate is you often hear stories of individuals being forced to leave their beloved pets behind when they evacuate, and sometimes don’t get reunited with them for months, if at all.
While you can’t always predict nor can you prevent a natural disaster, there are certainly steps you can take to better prepare the furry and feathered members of your family for a disaster. Sources from NJ.gov listed the following steps to take to protect your pets.
Have a safe place to take your pets. This might be a friend’s house, a shelter, a hotel that allows pets, or a doggy daycare located in another city. It’s best to do your research and have a plan in place before a disaster strikes. Look at all your options too if you have more pets besides dogs, such as birds or exotic animals.
Make evacuation plans with trustworthy neighbors. When it comes to earthquakes or fires, many times your neighborhood needs to be evacuated ASAP. But what if you aren’t home and will not be able to get into your neighborhood to retrieve your dogs or other pets? Having a plan set up with a neighbor can help, so that they can either take your pets somewhere safe or bring them to where you are.
Have identification for your pets. You should make sure that your pets always wear a well-fitted collar with proper identification and is micro-chipped with current information. ID tags and pet carriers should also include your phone number(s) in addition to the number of a contact outside the affected region.
In addition to the steps above, it’s important to always make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a disaster travel kit prepared for your pets just as you would do for your other family members. This kit should include the following:
- Copies of pet license, photos of pet with owner(s), proof of vaccinations
- Proper size pet carrier
- Leashes and obedience aids
- Non-spill water and food bowls
- Pet foods, including special diets
- Motion sickness pills, if needed
- Water in sanitized, non-breakable containers
- Special medications, with instructions
- Special needs items for exotic pets
- Newspapers, paper towels, handy-wipes, can openers, a flashlight, and blankets.
Experts also suggest that if your pet is not used to riding in a vehicle, that you familiarize them with it as to reduce their stress if a disaster does occur. It’s also very wise to know your pet’s favorite hiding places; because when a disaster strikes and you need to evacuate quickly, your pets will likely be frightened and hiding in these locations.
At the Federation of Insured Dog Owners (F.I.D.O) we understand that your dogs are a valuable part of your family. Because of this, you should have as much protection as you can get. In high-stress situations such as responding to a natural disaster, a dog bite is very likely to occur. We offer the Cover Canine Policy, a low-cost dog bite liability insurance product that offers protection for dog owners in the event their dog bites an individual and causes harm. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.