‘Tis the season for fires and floods, and if a disaster threatens your home and family, your furry pals will be affected, too. According to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), “one of the biggest reasons people return to danger/evacuation zones is to save their pets.” DHSEM and the state’s emergency preparedness website, ReadyColorado.com, recently offered some recommendations on helping prepare your pets for an evacuation:
- Build a Kit. Just like we should do for ourselves, create a 72-hour preparedness kit for your pet. Make sure they have extra food, water, medications and toys in case you are unable to get to a store or are forced to evacuate on short notice.
- Have a Plan. Your plan needs to include how you will transport your animals in an evacuation, possible routes you will take and your destination or sheltering options. Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities or animal shelters can care for your animals in an emergency. Have a list of phone numbers readily available.
- Know Your Neighbors. Meet your neighbors before a disaster strikes and develop a neighborhood plan for pet assistance. If a disaster occurs while you are at work or away from home you may need assistance from a neighbor in reaching your pets.
- Pets Feel Stress Too. When you are stressed, your pet will feel that stress too and they can act out because of this. Having a plan in place for your pet before an emergency will help lessen the stress for both of you.
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