Your beloved pets need to be part of any plan you craft for emergencies, such as hurricanes or floods.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says you should stock at least one week’s supply of food and fresh water for your pet. If your pet takes medication, stock a one-week supply of that, too.
Have copies of your pet’s vaccination records and other medical records in your pet’s preparedness kit. If you have a pet insurance policy, be sure to include information about it.
The kit should also have photos of your pet in case you and your pet become separated, the agency noted.
If there is a warning about a weather emergency, bring your pet indoors as soon as possible. Remain indoors, preferably in a location with few or no windows, until you can confirm it’s safe. Take your emergency kit and disaster supplies with you if you switch locations.
If you have to evacuate, bring your pet with you. Ask your local emergency management agency which emergency shelters allow pets.
If you’re unable to take your pet with you when you evacuate, put a Rescue Alert Sticker on your home’s door to alert emergency crews that your pet is inside.
If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, make sure they all have some form of identification, according to the FDA. Map out primary and secondary evacuation routes beforehand and identify the vehicles or trailers required to transport and support each type of animal.
Make sure that your emergency destination has food and water, and access to veterinary care and handling equipment.
If you need to evacuate and cannot take your large animals, you’ll have to determine how and where to move them to shelter or if it’s better to turn them outside, the FDA said in a news release.
Previously well-behaved pets may become aggressive or defensive after a major disruption in their lives and may not return to normal for several weeks. Monitor your pet and give it plenty of time to rest.
If your pet remains extremely anxious or has other behavioral or health problems, contact your veterinarian, the FDA advised.
The ASPCA has more on disaster preparedness.
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