Our good friends at Pet 360 recently conducted a survey of over 5,000 pet owners to understand just how many of you are adequately prepared to face a disaster or emergency evacuation with your pets. It turns out that the numbers could certainly improve! In the interest of full disclosure, Parental Unit counts herself among those not prepared for a disaster or evacuation for herself and for Bella and me.
Hey, we need to come, too!
In fact, 13% of those surveyed had already been through a disaster or emergency evacuation with their pets—so the danger is real. And of those 13%, a whopping 12% were actually separated from their pets during the emergency. The survey also shows that most pet owners simply aren't prepared for a disaster: 46% do not have an emergency plan in place for their pets; less than 35% have an emergency kit specifically for their pets; and 63% don't even have pet alert stickers in their windows.
But help is on the way! Pet 360, along with Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, have created "The Four P's of Pet Preparedness". We suggest that you print these out and have your Parental Units gather the following information and supplies, so your entire family is prepared in case emergency strikes. And what better time to get crackin' than National Preparedness Month?
1. Plan ahead – Many local and state health and safety regulations do not allow pets to accompany their owners to disaster shelters (Philadelphia DOES allow pets in disaster shelters). Determine the best evacuation plan, including where to go and how to get your pets there safely. Follow this emergency planning checklist, and you’ll be well-prepared.
2. Practice with your pets – The first step of any pet evacuation plan is to quickly and safely remove your pet from harm’s way. Your pet may be inclined to run and hide when disaster strikes, so be sure to rehearse a "come" command with your dog and identify a reliable way to find your cat, maybe by opening a can of food. Also practice putting your cat in a carrier and getting your dog in and out of the car. The more you practice, the more comfortable they'll be.
3. Pack an emergency kit – top 10 pet emergency kit items. first aid supplies, proof of ownership, vaccination history, and at least one of your pet’s favorite toys or blankets. Not sure what else to pack? Check out Pet360's
4. Protect your pets when they’re home alone – Disasters can strike when you’re not home. Display a Pet Alert sticker on your front door or window to let first responders know how many pets are inside. Remember to include your veterinarian’s contact information.