September is designated National Disaster Preparedness Month as a reminder of the unexpected events that disrupt our lives and home; in today’s veterinary blog we are sharing a few ideas on ensuring your pets are also prepared for an emergency.
September, National Preparedness Month, focuses on family preparations for emergencies or disasters for the region or community where we live and work. Whether natural disasters such as tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, or man-made calamities, entire regions can be affected for weeks. It’s always wise to have emergency plans in place for your family – and to include your pets in those plans.
Dr. Kara Lindberg, WestVet Emergency Veterinarian, shared some thoughts on emergency pet preparations below:
- Microchip/Current ID. Ensure your pet has a registered (and updated) microchip. When pets get separated from their people, whether during an emergency or an unexpected escape through an open fence, this critical tool can help your friend return home.
- Information file or folder for each pet. This easy-to-grab folder can include a pet’s health information and medical history, vaccination records, an updated photo and your family veterinarian’s contact information.
- Emergency pet kit. If a natural disaster requires that your family must evacuate your home, grab pet supplies and store them in a crate/kennel to take along. Consider things that your pets needs, such as a food and water bowl, food and current medication supplies for several days, a leash, waste disposal bags, and comfort items (a favorite toy or blanket).
- A designated caregiver in your absence. If you are traveling and unreachable whether during an unexpected calamity or for an extended vacation, a designated caregiver can play an important role in your pet receiving lifesaving veterinary care. Before leaving, designate your chosen representative through a simple notarized statement authorizing him/her to make important decisions for your pet in the case of a large disaster or a smaller veterinary emergency that requires medical care.
- Explore resources and ideas.The website Ready.Gov and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offer a wealth of information on preparations for all the people and pets in your care in the event of an emergency.
If your family veterinarian is unavailable, the WestVet Emergency Veterinary Hospital is always open and able to help your pet 24 hours a day. In emergency situations, no appointment is necessary, just come directly to our hospital. 208.375.1600