Prepare Your Pooch: September is National Preparedness Month

Tips from the Humane Society of Missouri Disaster Response Team to Keep Pets Safe in Times of Disaster

From power outages to tornados, fires to floods, disasters for Missouri residents are unpredictable and often unexpected. When making a disaster plan, many people forget about protecting their furry family members. These four-legged friends are left behind by owners who are not prepared to properly care for them during or after a disaster. However, with a little extra preparation, pet owners can have a plan in place to ensure all of their loved ones remain safe.

September is National Preparedness Month, and it is the perfect time to put a plan in place for the whole family, including pets. The Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Cruelty Task Force offers these four tips, which could be the key to survival:

  1. Create a plan: Create an evacuation plan that includes your pet and inform close friends and family. Identify pet-friendly places to go in times of distress and make sure your pet has identification, including a collar with ID tag and an up-to-date microchip, at all times. In addition, be sure to include a plan for pet care if you are away from home when disaster strikes.
  2. Make a disaster kit: Include medications, medical records, leashes/harnesses/carriers, current photos and descriptions of your pets, five days’ worth of food and water, and anything that will reduce your pet’s stress, like their bed and toys.
  3. If you evacuate, take your pet: Don’t assume your pet will be fine, even if you think you will only be gone for a short period of time.
  4. Listen for information: Whether it’s over the radio or on your phone, listening and following news outlets is key to receiving updates on where to go and what to do during an emergency.