Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
The tragedies that recently hit Oklahoma rocked the lives of not only the families, but their beloved pets as well. If you do'nt have an emergency plan in place, and it doesn't matter what are of the country you live in — you need to have one in place in the event of an emergency. When I read about the pets lost and the organizations that are involved in raising funds to help the misplaced pets, it makes me wonder how I'd take care of Henrietta in
the event of an emergency. She is small enough to grab up and run but
what happens after that? What about food, water, her medical records. If my
area of the country was struck by a tornado or a flood, how would I do the
simple things like hold onto her in the face of a torrent from Mother Nature? And regardless of her size, how would she react in an emergency? It could make it impossible to hold on to her or even to have our usual routine of her slipping happily into a purse when we're traveling.
There are countless tragic and heartbreaking as well as uplifting stories being told about pets being reunited with their families
and that made me wonder — Henrietta is an indoor dog (to the point of being a
house cat!) how would she survive if we were separated? She is skittish around
strangers, too bold around animals bigger than herself and has never had to
fend for herself.
Here are some tips put forth by the federal
government on how to prepare your pet and its care in an
emergency situation (paraphrased):
- Food: Keep at least
three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water: Store at least
three days of water specifically for your pets, in addition to water
you need for yourself and your family.
- Medicines and medical
records: Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in
a waterproof container.
- First aid kit: Talk to
your veterinarian about what is most appropriate. Most kits should include
cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and
tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a
pet first aid reference book.
- Collar with ID tag,
harness or leash: Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and
identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your
pet’s emergency supply kit.
- Important documents:
Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers,
vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof
container and also add them to your kit.
- Crate or other pet
carrier: If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and
animals with you, provided that it is practical to do so.
- Sanitation: Include
pet litter and litter box if appropriate.
- A picture of you and
your pet together: If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a
picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow
others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information
about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
- Familiar items: Put
items that will make your pet more comfortable in an unusual environment –
blankets, chew toys, etc.
You should pack an emergency kit for your pet and all of your
family members and keep it in a closet by the front door. In the event of an
emergency situation, you want to be able to grab the items and go. Check the
items every few months and replace as needed — in the event the food becomes
While you hope it never happens to you, in an emergency
situation, it's always better to be prepared well in advance.
For those of us fortunate enough to have escaped, there are ways you can get involved to help these pets in Oklahoma. Also, check out these Facebook pages to find other ways to help and get involved. (
https://www.facebook.com/notes/moore-oklahoma-tornado-lost-and-found-animals/how-to-post-a-lostfound-pet/598452356846252 and https://www.facebook.com/OKpets