Planning for Pets

For many people, their pets are like members of the family. Yet, too often, family pets are overlooked during disaster planning. Here’s what you need to consider to protect your pets during a disaster.

How many pets do you need to plan for? Some families have more than one pet; others have an assortment of animals. When you’re making your emergency preparations, you’ll need to take into account the type of pet(s) you’re planning for. How big are they? Do your pets get along with one another? Who will be responsible for caring for the pets covered in your plan?

Are there any special needs you need to consider for your pet(s)? Just like their owners, pets have special needs that must be addressed when you create your preparedness plan. Do they need any special medications or foods? Do they require special heating lamps to regulate temperature? Are they aggressive toward children?

How will you transport your pet(s)? Emergency situations often require families to leave home and relocate to shelters, other cities, or even out of state. Your disaster preparedness plans need to include how you will move your animals with your family. Do you have enough cages to contain your pets comfortably? Do you have enough food and water in your travel supplies? Is there enough room in your vehicle for your family, your pets, their cages and your supplies?

Have you completed your pre-planning for your pet preparations? Making an emergency plan that includes your pet’s needs means doing a little homework ahead of time. Before you can commit to a plan, you have to make sure all the pieces are in place. Do you have a list of hotels/motels that accept pets? Do you have proof that you registered and vaccinated your pet in case you need to go to a shelter? Have you put your pet’s travel cage into your vehicle to be sure it fits?

These are just some of the factors you’ll need to consider when making emergency plans that include pets. For additional information on planning for pets and helpful tips to effectively manage an emergency situation, visit:

  http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/preparedness/e-prep_public.shtm#pets