In Case of Emergency: Prepare for Evacuation

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In Case of Emergency: Prepare for Evacuation

No matter where we live it seems like some sort of natural emergency is possible, and often there is only a very short window of warning for those directly in the path. During the seasons of the natural emergency your region is generally exposed to, it is a good idea to have an emergency evacuation plan in place. In fact, there may be *two* plans outlined for your family: one if you are notified of an emergency while you are home; one for an immediate evacuation procedure if your pets are home alone.

There are a number of detailed lists available of what to have ready if an immediate evacuation is necessary so I won’t take the space here to repeat what we already know. Additional considerations for an emergency evacuation plan include:

  • Current vaccination record for each pet in case you find yourself needing to board your pets while evacuated.
  • Register your cell phone, not just your home phone, with the local sheriff or emergency contact organization. You need to know if your neighborhood is being evacuated whether you are home or not when you have animals at home.
  • Make a plan with a neighbor, preferably one that is home during the hours you are usually at work, so they know who your pets are and where they can most likely be found when you are away. Make sure you trade cell phone numbers, and make it easy for them by having carriers or leashes near where your pets are located so they can “grab and go.”
  • Place an in-case-of-emergency sticker at all entry doors indicating how many pets the emergency personnel should look for in your absence. Stickers are available at most pet stores, but if you take advantage of any of the several free downloadable sticker templates, you can customize for your specific animal companions! Check out Modern Dog Magazine or Meow Mix websites for free sticker designs.
  • When you are taking a video inventory of the contents of your home, include the drawers and/or cupboards dedicated to your pet’s medications, food, grooming utensils, etc.
  • If your animals are skittish, practice emergency drills with them. Cats especially might flee under a bed or way up high during chaotic times. Recreate anxious moments and practice recall with your pets so you are assured they will come when called during an emergency.
  • If you find yourself being evacuated, take care of yourself and your loved ones and get to safety. Once in a safe location, remember that your pets are most likely confused, scared, and feeling your anxiety during this stressful time. A brief animal communication session can help your pets understand and remain calmer during an evacuation which will be a benefit to everyone.

We don’t want to think of a natural disaster or emergency happening, but should you find yourself in an emergency evacuation, it is best to be as prepared as possible, and that includes helping your pets be prepared as well!

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