Sometimes our best companions are the ones we often forget in times of crisis or emergency.  No, we’re not talking about wives, husbands, or partners – we’re talking about our furry side-kicks that are there for every family picture, see the birth of each child, and tag along for each adventure.  Pets become part of the family and shouldn't be left out of the planning process for emergency preparedness. Here are a few things to consider when preparing for a disaster with pets.

Behavior

With natural disasters and emergency situations, animals may react unexpectedly by trying to flee, reverting to violent tendencies, or refusing to cooperate. Animals may also become confused and unsettled by the events happening around them.

What to Do

  • Keep familiar toys and knick-knacks available to reassure your pet
  • Make sure to have at least one leash on hand to keep your pet by your side

Shelter

You may be used to the ease of tying up your dog outside for a few minutes when outside. Or perhaps you have an outdoor cat that can’t stand staying inside. Animals love the outdoors – but when faced with treacherous conditions such as tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes, it could become the last place they’d like to be.

What to Do

  • Consider investing in a portable pet carrier to carry your pets with you in order to keep them safe and secure
  • Decide on a few safe locations to keep your pet indoors in case you need to evacuate

Food & Water

With the increase in stress and activity associated with a natural disaster response, your pet may expend more energy and become more dehydrated than normal.

What to Do

  • Today, there are many products aimed towards pet mobility. Consider foldable and collapsible water and food bowls; some even have zippers for short-term storage.
  • Make sure to have shelf-stable pet food on hand. Consider Pet’s Banquet cat and dog food that can be stored for up to 15 years
  • In addition to your personal water storage and filtration, make sure to set aside the appropriate amount for your pets.

Identification

When a disaster strikes, life may be somewhat chaotic at the outset. Pets have natural animal tendencies and may seek to flee and find refuge. Make sure your pets can be easily identified.

What to Do

  • A simple collar with a name might not be enough – consider adding tags to give full address and contact information.
  • Make sure to have updated pictures of your pet with information on the back.