With wildfires raging and a busier-than-usual hurricane season predicted, pet owners should begin preparing now for emergency situations. Dr. Jose Arce, President-Elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association, is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico who has been through hurricanes with pets, both as an owner and a veterinarian. He says there are three key steps to being ready for a disaster: making a plan, building an emergency kit, and staying up to date on the latest news and storm-related developments in your area.
Dr. Arce’s 10 Pet Preparedness Tips:
- Get your pet microchipped. If a pet gets lost or needs a place to ride out the storm, he or she will get back to you.
- Have evacuation plans mapped out before emergency situations arise.
- Contact friends or neighbors to coordinate safe travel plans.
- Have back-up care for your pets ready in the case you can’t make it home.
- Put together a pet emergency go-bag with several days’ food, medicines, first aid kit and grooming items.
- Make sure your pet has all their tags and IDs in case you have to evacuate.
- Practice finding a safe place at home with your pet, such as a basement or interior room, in case of tornados or high winds.
- Keep a handful of items – such as a leash, water dish, and blanket – in your car at all times in case you have to move quickly.
- Tune into the latest news/weather reports to be forewarned of any imminent danger.
- Contact your veterinarian if you need more clarity on how to prepare.
“Emergency situations are unpredictable,” said Arce. “Being prepared early will help you, your family, and pet have the best chance at avoiding disaster.”
Log on to www.avma.org for more valuable information about pets and pet care.
SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association