ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – Pets and service animals cannot plan ahead for themselves, but when included in their families’ disaster preparedness plan, everyone is more likely to survive together.
Here are some tips on disaster preparedness for pets:
- If a pet gets lost, its tag is its ticket home. Make sure your pet’s tags are up-to-date and fastened to its collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of another contact in case you can’t be reached. A waterproof pouch containing identification information can be attached to the collar.
- Consider implanting a microchip with all of its information on it, beneath the pet’s skin. A veterinarian or an animal shelter can perform the procedure, but the chip also has to be registered.
- In a waterproof bag or container, store important pet documentation, such as adoption papers, vaccination records, feeding schedules, notes about behavior issues and your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Take a photo of you with your pet and put it in the waterproof container. In case you get separated, you can show what your pet looks like and you will also have proof that it is your pet when it’s found.
- Have enough pet supplies, food, bottled water and medications for each pet for at least a week, including a manual can opener for canned food. Keep canned or dried food in airtight containers.
- Have sanitation items such as cat litter, litter box and scoop, trash bags, newspaper and paper towels. A checklist of items to include can be found online at https://www.ready.gov/animals.
- If you plan to shelter in place, identify the safest area of your home where you can all stay together. Put all emergency supplies in that room ahead of time, including your pet’s crate and supplies.
- A pet may require a personal carrier or cage, which should be big enough for it to stand and move around in.
- Pet birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have additional care needs. Assemble their supplies in your survival kit and plan ahead how you will shelter in place or evacuate, such as assuring you have cages for transporting them and any special equipment they may need.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after a disaster.
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