Monday, April 20, 2015

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pet #FoodShelterLove

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® and Food, Shelter & Love® Program, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

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.

2) Prepare an "Emergency Grab & Go Kit" of pet supplies that is easily accessible in an emergency which includes: first aid supplies (I recommend Fauna Care for fast wound care); a 3-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.

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.

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.

The responsibility for animal shelters during a disaster stretches already overwhelmed staff and resources to the breaking point as they are not just caring for shelter animals, but also pets that have become separated from their owners. Hill’s Disaster Relief Network is poised and ready to help at a moment’s notice so that they can ensure that all of the animals though stressed and upset have proper nutrition, such as the 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?


Cats Herd You said...

Preparation for disasters is so important! Down here in the hurricane zone, it's about time for us to refresh our emergency kits and be ready for storm season.

The Island Cats said...

Y'know, the mom always thinks about this but doesn't do anything about it. She needs to get our emergency plan in place!

pilch92 said...

This is so important- great post.

Fur Everywhere said...

Thank you for sharing these tips, Melissa! I would be incredibly worried about Carmine if we ever got separated during a disaster due to the fact that he has special needs. One thing I wish microchipping companies would do is give owners more space to explain medical conditions and needs so lost kitties can get the care they need until they are reunited with their humans.

Hannah and Lucy said...

Mum has thought about this but we don't live near any rivers or the sea and are not anywhere where there are hurricanes. Snow is our worst problem if it is very deep as it piles up and as we live in quite a high location it can take a while before the traffic can move freely again particularly if it is windy.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Cathy Keisha said...

An important post about an important subject that many people don’t think about until it’s too late.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa! We never want to think this could happen but being prepared leaves a lot less to worry about!


We are always aware because we live along the big pond called the Atlantic. Now it's the time of year our Mom really worries about the those big water storms called hurrycanes.

Mariodacatsmom said...

Excellent article and very good information. A couple of years ago a twitter friend tweeted "Our apt building is on fire. We all got out including our pets." My heart just sank as I was thinking how devastating that would be. So we try each summer to have a bag on hand with food for Mario, small container of litter and pan, His carrier is always in our living room ready to go. We do get tornadoes here, but not often and there have only been a couple F4 in the past 20 years. Thank you for posting this important information.

meowmeowmans said...

Being prepared is so important. You don't want to wait until it is too late!

Sweet Purrfections said...

We need to work on our list, too. Thanks for the information.

Life with Dogs and Cats said...

We have emergency kits for dogs, cats and people. After Hurricane Sandy, we realized how important it is to have a "Go Bag" and to be prepared.
--Purrs (and wags) from Life with Dogs and Cats

The Swiss Cats said...

Very impawtant advice, thanks for the reminder ! Purrs