June is allocated for National Pet Preparedness Month. While we know, as pet parents, that we should get prepared for pet emergencies every single day, the month of June serves as a wake up call for us to secure our emergency plans and ensure that these plans are also suitable for our pets.
Why? Because disasters and emergencies can happen when we least expect it. It can happen anywhere at anytime and in different forms! These disasters can be natural disasters like wildfire, tornado, or violent typhoons. It can also be man-made disasters like power outages, house fires and the like.
All these can make it difficult for you to reach your pet/s as quickly as possible if you're at work or away from home, that's why National Pet Preparedness Month helps us come up with a preparedness plan ahead of time.
Know the risks around you.
First, you should be able to recognize what kind of disasters are possible to happen in your area. Are you in a tsunami-zone? Are power outages common in your area? This way you will know how you will be able to effectively come up with emergency plans. And since disasters are different from each other, they need different approaches for response. The earlier you come up with a disaster plan, the longer time you will have to get ready and prepare for it.
Keep those IDs updated.
It is not a remote possibility that your pet may panic and then get lost during a disaster. So it is most important to make sure your pet is wearing a collar or a microchip with updated information of his name, your contact number/s, your address, and other important information like vaccination tags.
Secure your pet's important records.
Gather your pet's health card, health history and recent photos in a folder and make sure you store it somewhere safe and easy to access. Because in times of a disaster, you certainly won't have the time to go through all the files you have. Nope!
Know where to go.
If a disaster requires you to evacuate, you should evacuate your pet/s, too! But before that happens, know where you can possibly take your pet/s in case of an emergency. There are pet-friendly hotels and evacuation shelters that are great places to start with and it's a must to keep a list of these pet-friendly places and their contact numbers.
Pack up your emergency supplies ahead of time.
During disasters, you will never be able to pack all the things you need right then and there because of the urgency and the panic. Know what you need and pack only what's necessary for you, your family and your pet/s. For your pet, pack extra leashes, food/water bowls, food & water good for a few days, towels, litter pans, trash bags, washable dog diapers, pee pads, pet first aid kit and ID cards.
Prepare your carrier and calming supplements.
A carrier is a great way to prevent your pet/s from freaking out, as everybody around seems to be. A carrier will be able to provide them security but make sure the carrier you get is big enough for them to be able to stand up, turn around, sit down, lie down - comfortably. Offering your pet/s calming supplements will also lessen their anxieties and will help them feel more relaxed given the situation.
Make sure everyone knows your plan.
If you are at work or away from home and your pets are under the care of your family members or hired pet sitters, make sure they know your disaster plan. Make sure they know what to do, what to bring and where to meet you in any case a disaster suddenly strikes.
National Pet Preparedness Month is a month we all need as pet parents to remind us that our pets have a fighting chance, too, whenever disasters and accidents happen. Remember that to a healthy and happy life for our pets begins with us keeping them safe and sound.