The wildfires in California are a reminder to always be prepared for your pets. This week, my daughter and her family were in the danger zone and had to get ready to evacuate with two babies and two cats. It’s scary because it can happen to anyone – and this week it was really close to home.
Here are tips from my friends at Hill’s Pet Nutrition who always step forward to help pets in need.
When disaster does strike, the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network is positioned to quickly respond with shipments of pet food to communities impacted by disaster. Hill’s established the first-of-its-kind national network in 2013 as an extension of its Food, Shelter & Love™ program that provides discounted Science Diet® pet food to more than 800 shelters. In its first year, the Hill’s network has delivered free pet food to 50 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 11 major incidents – including floods in Colorado, fires in Idaho andArizona, tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas, the fertilizer plant explosion in Waco, Texas, and most recently, the mudslide in Washington and tornadoes in the central and south regions of the country.
- Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag and that contact information is up-to-date.
- Prepare a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies that is readily accessible in an emergency. Your Pet Go-Kit should include: first aid supplies and guide book; three-days’ supply of pet food (in a waterproof container) and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
- If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.