Do you have an Emergency Preparation Plan for you and your pets?
If you have experienced flooding then you already know a flash flood or heavy rainstorm can submerge a car.
In the event of a flood the first thing to do is get to higher ground with your pets and human family.
If flooding has already occurred, try and keep all family members out of flood water as it contains bacteria and could result in an electric shock if power lines are downed. Flash floods create dangerous fast-moving currents that no ordinary doggy paddle can handle.
Preparation is key before a flood occurs Have a pet life preserver and inflatable boat on hand.
Keep pets indoors as much as possible, and keep your windows shut.
Birds are particularly susceptibleand should not be allowed outside when smoke or particulate matter are present.
Let dogs and cats outside only for brief bathroom breaks if air quality alerts are in effect.
Avoid intense outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Exercise pets when dust and smoke has settled.
The masks (Cone) that Veterinarians use to administer anesthesia are also sold to fire departments to administer oxygen. Having a cone and oxygen on hand can be helpful for dogs that have inhaled smoke. Having an emergency oxygen mask for your two-legged family family can also be helpful in a housefire or wildfire
Hurricane & Tornado Preparation
Plan ahead if possible. There are secure schools and auditoriums that are used for hurricanes but you must reserve your spot and make sure pets are permitted. Have an emergency evacuation plan before or after but not during. Unless instructed by emergency services never drive during a storm.
Fill vehicle gas tanks in case you have to evacuate
Have a battery operated radio to listen to emergency broadcasting
For tornadoes in the event that it is getting close go to the lowest possible point of your home (Unless you live in Florida where basements rarely exist) and for Hurricanes if you are in a non-category 5 structure and you are in the direct path of the storm, try and get your pet and family members in a tub and cover with mattresses
Preparing for a Natural Disaster
Medications- If your diabetic pet requires Insulin which has to be refrigerated then you can use an insulated device called FRIO which when water is added keeps meds at about 70 degrees. Of, course ice and cooler is optimal. Highly recommended is a watertight bag for all meds. Also always make sure you have enough medication for at least 2 weeks or more. Certain medications like Prednisone must be given daily or things can get really bad really quickly.
Don’t let cats and dogs roam during or after a storm- There are downed power lines that can electrocute pets. Displaced wild animals like Gators or exotic escaped animals like poisonous snakes can pose a danger.Pets can also step on sharp objects and there are loose objects in trees and elevated powerlines that can fall and seriously injure a pet.
Identification- GPS collars are ideal when combined with microchips and collar ids. Some pet parents have gone as far as using a waterproof marker indicating their address and telephone.
Flashlights– Headlamps are handsfree and products like the Puplight attach to your dog’s collar to project a path a. If you live in a building and lose power and have to carry your senior pet down a dark stairwell your hands-free headlamp can be your savior. There are lots of LED lights and rechargeable solar powered lanterns available. Make sure you have lots of batteries
Pet First Aid Kit- Always have a pet first aid kit on hand for an emergency that includes bandages, hydrogen peroxide, scissors, benadryl for allergies, honey or dextrose for diabetic pets and a thermometer for obvious reasons. Dish soap is great to remove external toxins on skin and fur, A blanket is valuable to keep pets warm or restrain them if they are injured. Don’t forget treats to keep them calm and distracted if they are injured. Always keep the phone number for the animal poison control hotline handy.
Shelter Plans– If you have knowledge of an impending disaster like a Hurricanemany human shelters do not allow pets but there are some that do. Plan ahead and know your options. Your veterinarian or local doggy daycare might board in an emergency.
Pet First Aid Course- It’s a simple course offered by many organizations and will teach you what to do for, hypothermia, heatstroke, or water inhalation. Imagine being empowered to expel a foreign object that is restricting breathing or performing CPR on an unconscious pet.
Emergency Veterinary Care- Always check who will be opened during a potential storm or who stays open during a natural disaster in the event an emergency arises
Food – Make sure you have options for non-perishable food and if food must be refrigerated, plan for that with a cooler. Always have enough food for 2 weeks and preferably 1 month in case of power outages or natural disasters. Don’t forget treats.
Water – During a storm if there is no access to drinking water, one gallon per day of purified water per person is recommended. For your pets measure the amount they drink in a day and add about 50% in case its hot.
Smart Phone Charging- We are all so reliant on smartphones for communication and information. A car charger is essential and a rechargeable battery pack is another great tool to keep you connected.
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