I'm very fortunate to live in a part of the country that doesn't experience many natural disasters. Parts of my state were ravaged by Hurricane Irene back in 2011, but that was a very rare event. Still, I remember that it was an incredibly scary time and a good reminder that we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us, and disaster can strike on a moment's notice. The tornadoes that struck Illinois just days ago are proof of that. Not all disasters are natural either. I worry about things like fires and gas leaks in my neighborhood all the time.
FEMA's National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is May 9th, and Hill's Pet Nutrition is recommending 7 ways pet owners can prepare themselves and their pets in case of an emergency:
1) Ensure your pet has either a microchip or collar ID tag with up-to-date information.
3) Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in your home, and make sure your vet's contact information is included.
4) Learn your pet's favorite hiding places so you can find them more quickly during an evacuation.
5) Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Unfortunately, not all disaster shelters welcome pets, so plan ahead by learning which nearby hotels are pet-friendly, or ask friends and relatives if they could house you and your pet.
6) Carry a picture of your pet in case you are separated.
7) Consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping if you need to evacuate.
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
When disaster does strike, the Hill's Disaster Relief Network is positioned to quickly respond with shipments of pet food to communities impacted by disaster. Hill's established the first-of-its-kind national network in 2013 as an extension of its Food, Shelter & Love® program that provides discounted Science Diet® pet food to more than 800 shelters. In its first year, the Hill's network has delivered free pet food to 50 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 11 major incidents.
Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Optimal Care® Original, to keep them healthy until they can be reunited with their owners.
I consider myself to be a very proactive cat mom, but even the most prepared owners can get separated from their pet in an emergency. I know that in such a situation, Truffles' health and safety would be my greatest priority, so while I have done some of the items on Hill's checklist, I definitely need to work on a few others.
Do you have an emergency plan in place for your pets in the event of a disaster?