Are You and Your Dog Prepared for an Emergency?

Usually I don’t pay that much attention to all the random “National Fill-in-the-Blank Awareness” months and days (although I am a big supporter of National Doughnut Day), but as a new-ish dog owner National Disaster Preparedness Month this month caught my attention. I think it’s important to think about ways you and your dog can be prepared in the case of an emergency.

I’ve taken a few basic steps to prepare for emergencies. First, I’ve made sure that a family member and a close by friend has a key to my house in the event that something happens to me and I can’t get home to my dog at the usual time. I think it’s a good idea to have more than one person have a key to your house so that you have a backup in case one person can’t get there.

Another thing that I’ve done is affix a Fire Rescue sticker to let firefighters know that there is a dog in the house. Of course you never want to think about any of these things happening, when another living being is involved it’s important to take some precautions.

As I mentioned, these are very basic disaster preparedness arrangements. I’ve been reading up about some of the other things that you can do as a pet owner to prepare and came across some good tips on the FEMA site:

– Prepare an emergency kit for your pet – including food, water, medication and a leash.

– Do not leave your pet behind in an emergency or forced evacuation. Have an evacuation spot planned ahead of time. A lot of emergency shelters won’t take pets, so you’ll want to have researched pet-friendly hotels or friends and family you could stay with outside of the area.

– Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

FEMA has a good brochure on their site for pet owners with more advice on preparing your pet for an emergency: http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/pets_brochure.pdf

Is this something you’ve given much thought to? What plans have you put in place for you and your dog?