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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

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When disaster strikes, don’t be caught unprepared. You may have steps already in place that will ensure the safety of  your family, but did you remember to include preparations for your dog or cat?

We offer these tips to help you make emergency plans for your beloved pets.

1. Pet ID. Collars or microchips are necessary to identify or help others identify your pet. Tags should display your name, telephone number and an emergency contact. Collars can become lost so microchips are a permanent means of assuring that your pet is identified. It involves a painless electronic device that is implanted in your pet’s shoulder. Since animals may panic and take off during disasters, permanent identification will increase your chances of retrieving your pet(s).

2. Evacuation Supplies. Be prepared for evacuation by having a pet carrier and keeping it close to the door. For reptiles or fish, we suggest you use lightweight plastic tanks.
For dogs, keep a leash hanging near the door. All dogs should have collars and leashes. Frightened dogs might pull loose if held only by the collar.

3. Evacuation Stickers. You can get a pet evacuation sticker to put on your front door. You can write on the sticker the number of pets in the house and an emergency contact number in case. Without this sticker, rescuers may not know that there are pets in the house, especially if the animals hide when they are frightened.

4. Emergency Support System. Inform your neighbours, friends and family that you have pets that might need their care in an emergency. It’s a good idea to have at least two people who are familiar with your pets to have keys to your house. You could offer to reciprocate and take care of their animals if they have an emergency.

Identify several possible places you can take your pet to if you need to evacuate. Next door isn’t the best idea if your area is hit by a flood.

Maybe your veterinarian has a disaster plan. It’s a good idea to ask before disaster strikes. It’s also very important to know where you can take your pet for emergency medical care during or right after a disaster.

5. Medicine and Medical Records. Does your pet take medication? It’s a good idea to keep a supply handy in case you can’t get to the vet. Make a copy of your pet’s medical records — if they need treatment in the event of an emergency, the vets can read about any prior health issues. 

6. Emergency Supplies. We suggest you keep the following supplies on hand:

- a supply of pet food and water

- a supply of cat litter and plastic bags for waste disposal

- a First Aid kit 

- a crate for your cat or dog

Please leave lots of fresh water out for your pets who are stuck at home. They risk dehydration if they are stranded alone. 

7. Finding Your Lost Pet After a Disaster. Learn where the local animal shelters and rescue organizations are. You might have to visit them if your pet goes missing. Some shelters may not be able to keep animals for long so it’s important to begin your search right away.

Take lots of photos of your pet and keep them with you. As well be prepared to describe any distinguishing markings or characteristics of your pet.

One last tip we can give you about preparing for a pet emergency is to use online data backup. Those medical records, photos, names of emergency contacts, lists of shelters, microchip ID information — all can be stored and retrieved using CollectionMine’s offsite data backup software. 


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