Every time we glance at the news there is another weather-related emergency. From fires to droughts to recent hurricanes, it seems it never ends and is only going to get worse.As we watch the videos with people abandoning their homes with their dogs clutched in their arms, most of us think, “What would I do?”
The most important thing to remember is to be prepared! And to Keep Calm and Carry On! As ubiquitous as that phrase became over the last few years, it is still as valid today as it was when coined in the UK during WWII. Having a plan and keeping your wits about you is a big chunk of the battle during a disaster.
As pet owners, we love our pets and do everything we can to keep them safe! However, what do we do when an unexpected and harsh emergency happens, such as a weather-related event, like a tornado or flood? Though meteorologists can predict the weather (sometimes better than others), severe weather still causes many emergency situations. Again, the best way to help your pets in a weather emergency is to be prepared!
The first step to being prepared is knowing the different types of severe weather emergencies. Severe weather emergencies include the following: blizzards, floods, hail, lightning, natural disaster (mudslides, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes, etc.), snow, thunderstorms, and tornados. Did we leave any out?
Having a PLAN and a weather emergency kit is critical. Your weather emergency kit allows you to be prepared for the worst. Plus, you will unequivocally know what to do during a stressful time. The Blissful Dog is making it easier by creating an emergency kit for your dog(s). Of course, feel free to add or subtract items as needed for your own dog.
Keeping Your Dog Safe in an Emergency
Knowing who does what will determine if you have a smooth evacuation…or not. Have a family meeting to cover the roles and responsibilities.
Obviously, some evacuations are life-or-death emergencies and others may be not quite as dire. But having a plan is critical for any level of grabbing those near and dear and getting out.
Less Stress General Tips
During fire, tornado hurricane season, keep the vehicle you will be using as cleared out as possible. You do not need to be dragging tool boxes, bags of stuff for Goodwill and such out of your vehicle as the tornado bears down on you!
When it is first determined that you better GET OUT NOW take one deep breath and remind yourself that you are prepared.
In multi-pet homes each pet should be assigned to one person, if possible. Have each person get their assigned pet and get in the vehicle. Dogs will run back into a burning house, so make sure they are secure if it is a fire emergency. Have those assigned grab the Dog Out Kit, plus anything the family needs. That is for another article.
If possible leave a note on the door and/or inside to let people where you are going and who all is with you. If nothing else list who all is with you, so others will be informed.
Dog Out Kit
A Dog Out Kit will be everything you need to grab and go. This lessens the panic of looking for a leash as the fire gets closer. Multi-pet families can have one big kit for all, remember to make sure each pet has the individual components.
Food for at least a week (rotate to keep it fresh)
Enough medicine for a week or two
Bowls (stainless or plastic) for food/water
Liquid Benadryl (bug bites)
Pepto for upset tummies
Bandages (tape or vet wrap)
Couple of washcloths
Collars with current ID Tags
Crates or pet carriers easily accessible
Veterinarian’s name & number
Be Prepared Is Still the Best Advice
Of course, these general tips are geared toward getting your pets safely into a vehicle and out of danger. We trust you’ve made plans for for keeping your human family members safe.
While we hope you never have to use these tips, we’re honored to share in helping keep you and your pets safe in this small way.