One of the best ways to protect your family in a disaster is by having a good disaster plan. For pet owners, it is essential that you have a plan for your pets. We have seen media footage from New Orleans and countless other disasters; often thousands of pets are left behind by their owners or fend for themselves. Unfortunately, most of these precious pets are lost, injured or even killed. To keep this from happing to your pet, we urge you to develop a comprehensive disaster plan for your pet.
Create a Disaster Kit For Your Pet
Similar to a disaster kit for your family that includes important papers and other key items, prepare a disaster kit for your pets. At a minimum, it should contain the following:
1.Medication and medical records in a waterproof container. This
needs to include all vaccination schedules and in disasters proof of rabies vaccinations.
2.Leashes, harnesses and carriers for transporting pets.
3. A muzzle even if your pet rarely requires one. Even if you know where you will reside during the disaster, you never know who else may be at the same location. Even the friendliest dog will snap or bite during extreme distress of a disaster, especially in a new area. Many dog companions can get aggressive with strangers in trying to protect its owner.
4. Food and water. Some articles suggest that you need three days but five to seven days of food and water is safer. Also include in your kit, a manual can ?opener.
5. Cat litter and litter box.
6.Current photo and description of your pet. In the chaos, your pet could become separated from you. While it may seem unlikely, it is best to be prepared for the worst. Several photos of your pet will go a long way in helping you become re-united with your pet.
7. Name and phone number of your veterinarian. This is critical information to have with you in a time of crisis.
8. Insurance company contact information and policy number, if you have pet insurance.
Place this disaster kit in a well-marked area of your home. If a friend or family watches your house when you are out of town, make certain she/he know where the disaster kit for your pet is located.
Find A Safe Place Ahead Of Time
It is very important to find temporary shelter ahead of the storm.
1.Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets.
2. Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians outside your immediate area that might be able to shelter pets in an emergency. Include emergency phone numbers.
3. Ask your local Humane Society or emergency management agency for information regarding community disaster response plans and locations, which might include pets.
4. Make advance arrangements to have a friend or family pick up your pet and meet you at a specified location in the event you are not home when disaster strikes.
5. Identify a disaster recovery company who will take care of your home if you have damage. Interview companies and locate a company prior to the damage so your home will be a top priority to them. Depending on the company, they have professional, well-trained technicians who provide the latest state-of-the-science services to all property damaged from water, fire/smoke, mold, and other disasters.
If You Evacuate, Take Your Pets
1. Evacuate early. If you wait for an official evacuation, as you might be ordered to leave your pets behind. It is better to evacuate before mandatory because there are more options for you and your pet.
2.Keep pets on leashes or in carriers at all times.
3. Your pet should wear up-to-date identification at all times.
Consider including your cell phone number, and an emergency contact such as the phone number of a friend outside of the area, in case you cannot be ?reached.
4. If you must evacuate and, for some reason, ?cannot take your pets, do not leave your animals behind.
Evacuate them to a prearranged safe location if they cannot stay with you during the evacuation period If there is a possibility that disaster may strike while you are out of the house, there are precautions you can take to increase your pets chances of survival, but they are not a substitute for evacuating with your pets. Please be aware that no Red Cross shelter takes pets.
After The Storm
Once you return to your home, dont allow your pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells might be gone, and your pet may be disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in these situations.
1.Try to get your pets back into their normal routines as soon as possible. Be on the lookout for stress-related behavioral problems; if these problems persist, talk to your veterinarian.
2. Contact the disaster recovery company who you have identified to help you out. When you or a pet safe again, you will really appreciate immediate service from a Disaster Recovery Company. Regardless of the circumstances, these professionals are standing by and will mitigate the loss to prevent further damage. They will then provide restoration services to return the property to a pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.
LocalNet360- As you begin to learn about the dangers and prevention pertaining to Fire, Water and Mold damage in your home or business, you will better understand what steps to take to protect your family, employees, pets, personal belongings, business records, equipment, building structure, landscaping and surrounding areas. More importantly, in addition to knowing what steps you can take to aide in prevention, many of these same techniques will help you to mitigate risks in case of an emergency related to fire, water or mold damages should they happen to you. As stated earlier in this series, the more you know about the dangers of Fire, Water and Mold, the better prepared you will be when disaster strikes and in addition to mitigating risks, you may one day help save the life of someone you love as well as yourself, because disaster can strike anyone, anywhere at any time and it is up to you to gain the knowledge to protect your family, home and business and know when to call the professionals who can only respond after the emergency strikes.
Mary O’Hara holds a Masters of Public Health and has numerous certifications in mold remediation, fire restoration, lead remediation, and fire damage restoration. She spent 25 years as a health care executive with leading health care organizations in Minneapolis, Seattle, St Louis, and Tampa. She started her first health care related business in 2005 in Florida and is a senior partner in a Disaster Restoration Business serving Florida. In 2010, Mary added a mold assessor course and certification to assist with scientific inquiry of residential and commercial building problems.
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