Just as you should do drills with your kids, you should also include your furry friends in drills
Your pets are a part of your family, so don’t forget them in your drills! If it’s not safe for you to be somewhere during an emergency, it’s not safe for them either.
Before you start your drills, be sure to include your pets and their needs in your emergency plans. Add pet food to your prep kits and put their vet’s information in your emergency contact list. If your evacuation plan involves a hotel, make sure it’s pet friendly. Whenever you run drills, bring them with you. They won’t want to be left in a dangerous situation, even if it’s fake!
Put a pet rescue sticker on your front door to let emergency responders know they need to look for a pet (or not). Write “evacuated” on the rescue sticker if you take your pet with you during a disaster. Include this action in your drills to make sure you don’t forget. You don’t want emergency responders to waste time looking for your puppy when it’s safely snuggled in your lap.
Always keep collars on your dogs and cats, and microchip them if you can.
This is good policy any day of the year, but makes your life a lot easier if you get separated from your pets, need to evacuate in a hurry, or end up in an emergency shelter housing other pets.
If you’re not accustomed to traveling with your pets, it’s a good idea to practice putting them in their carriers and driving somewhere new every couple of months to help them get accustomed to being in new places. Pairing travel with treats upon returning home will help them associate those movements with safety and calm. If your pets get nervous easily, eliminate their most effective hiding places, or you may be unable to retrieve them quickly in the event of an emergency.
Ask your vet for tips if you’re unsure about the best way to prepare your pets for emergencies. They may prescribe anxiety medication to make evacuating or sheltering at home easier for your fur babies.
Great work preparing your drills! Now get out there and practice like you mean it.