Disasters – No one likes hearing about them and no one likes to think about them happening in his or her area. Hate them though we do, disasters must be prepared for. They are an unfortunate part of living on our dynamic planet. These tips and suggestions should make preparing for a disaster easy and relatively pain-free. A little planning will go a long way in helping you avoid needless tragedy and loss, so it is definitely worth some time and effort.
If there is a disaster at home while you are not there and you have one or more pets, there are things you must have in place. This is what my French Bulldog and I have prepared just in case:
1. Talk to your neighbors and make an agreement that you will each check on/rescue each other’s animals, should the other not be at home. Your rescue buddy should also have a detailed knowledge of your pet’s needs, medical history and important numbers to call in case of emergency. He or she should have a copy in his or her home and a duplicate should be in an equally agreed upon designated spot in your home. Having two minimizes chance of forgetting its location under duress.
2. You can get a rescue alert sticker for your house. This sticker should be placed where responding emergency personnel can easily see it. It contains information about the number, size and kind of animal(s) in your residence. Ideally, this sticker will also have your vet’s number listed. The sticker should ensure that your pet is to be rescued from the house if you are not home and in the event there are no neighbors willing or able to help you. If you have left with your pets write, “Evacuated,” across the sticker also. These are available from most pet stores or vet offices. You can even order them online from the ASPCA.
If there is an emergency and you are given advance warning, here are the steps you need take:
1. If you are notified of a disaster heading your way, evacuate immediately French bulldog puppies for adoption and take your dog with you!
2. Take your first-aid/emergency kit with you.
3. Head to a hotel, kennel, boarding facility or relative’s house with your dog. It is very important that you arrange accommodations for your dog before a disaster strikes. Sadly, most Red Cross shelters do not allow dogs or other pets in their facilities, so you will need to arrange a pet-friendly option. It is also imperative that you compose your emergency kit ahead of time, so that you can just grab and go. Below is a list of things to consider putting in your kit for your dog and cat. By no means is this list exhaustive, so check with your vet or other pet professionals about what else you should add.
Your first-aid/emergency kit for your dog should include…
- An extra dog tag or piece of identification in case you become separated
- Recent photos of your dog in case he becomes lost
- 7 to 10 days worth of food and water for you and each of your pets
- A week to two weeks worth of any of your dog’s medication(s)
- Your dog’s medical records and a list of important numbers (your Vet’s, the closest family member’s, your closest friend’s)
- Disposable litter pans/litter
- Extra leashes
- Blanket (helps with keeping your dog warm and comfortable and helps to reduce shock)
- Bandages, cotton, disinfectant and trash bags
- His favorite bone or chew toy – it’s important that he remain as ‘normal’ as possible under this stressful time
- Photo of you/spouse other family members in the event you are separated
Lastly, if you are unable to evacuate your residence, have a plan of where you will go in your house to be as safe as possible. Some of the safest rooms in the house in case of a tornado are the bathroom and the basement. For flooding, it may be a little more difficult, but try to find a room with high counters; if nothing else, get to the roof (this saved many people and animals during Katrina).
If you follow these steps you should be well prepared in the event of a disaster and both you and your French Bulldog (or any other pet) will likely come out of it no worse for the wear.