Preparing for an Emergency When You Have Animals
Emergencies aren’t something you can add to your calendar or put off until it’s convenient. Wildfires, earthquakes, and other disasters can happen at any time. Preparing your family is important, but if you have animals, preparedness can get a lot more complicated. We have some tips to help you add pets and livestock to your evacuation and shelter-in-place plans.
Prepare for Any Emergency
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Do you have a plan for your family in case of an emergency? Check out our article Being Ready for an Emergency to learn what should be in a 72-hour supply kit, how to communicate when things go awry, and how to make a plan that works.
Coastal tip: if you are separated from your family during an emergency, call the Red Cross at 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) using a landline or functioning cell phone to register yourself as “okay” after an emergency in your area.
Making Emergency Plans for Your Animals
Whether it’s a dog, cat, hamster, or horse, ensuring your animals survive an emergency starts with preparation and planning.
Have an evacuation plan.
For dogs and cats, this may include who is responsible for catching and crating each pet. Include a confirmation plan to ensure every person and pet is accounted for before evacuating. For horses and livestock, have a trailer handy at all times and teach your animals how to trailer quickly.
Don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders. Give yourself time to gather your 72-hour emergency kit, people, pets, and livestock. Leaving early will also help you avoid heavy traffic, which can be especially difficult when towing a large trailer.
Get your pets and horses microchipped.
This could help you locate them later if you get separated.
Assemble and store an animal supply kit.
This should include enough water and food for up to 72 hours. Other items to include:
- Medications, medical records, and important documents along with a first-aid kit. This can be especially important for horses. Keep these items updated and current.
- A photo of you with each animal. This will help identify them and prove ownership.
- Emergency contact information. Include the names and phone numbers of nearby veterinarians and animal hospitals as well as boarding facilities if necessary. Keep the list updated as needed.
Plan ahead for your pets (dogs, cats, etc.)
Have an extra leash and sanitation bags or litter items in your family’s 72-hour emergency kit along with:
- Crate or pet carriers.
- Food and water bowls.
- Familiar toys and treats. These can help calm your pet during stressful situations.
Plan ahead for your equine.
Letting your horse loose in an emergency might not be the best way to save their life. Try these tips from the pros:
- Teach horses and livestock how to trailer.
- Get them used to wearing a halter.
- Have them interact with strangers. If emergency crews need to save your horse, making them less timid around strangers could save their life and protect first-responders.
- Form a horse or livestock network. Find people you trust who could care for your animals in the event of an emergency.
- Add items to their 72-hour emergency kit, including leads, ropes, halters, shanks, leg wraps, a turnout blanket, hoof pick, tarps, shovel, water hose, duct tape, and wire cutters.
Prepare for the Unknown at Coastal
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has the items you need to compile a comprehensive 72-hour emergency kit for your family as well as your pets and horses. Stop by today and pick up a few extra fire extinguishers and anything else you might need during an emergency.