20 Days to Ready: Don’t Forget Your Pets (Day 20)

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Don't Forget Your Pets
20 Days to Ready is a series of simple, daily tasks to help you better prepare for emergencies and protect your family when disaster strikes. Follow along, day by day, and you’ll be more ready (for just about anything) in a few short weeks.

ASSIGNMENT: Make a Pet Preparedness Plan

Knowing how to protect your pets well before disaster strikes can save you many headaches and can help keep them safe.

Find A Place To Sit And Stay

If your family needs to evacuate, it’s important to know where to take your pets. Some disaster shelters accept pets, but many do not — so if your family’s evacuation plan takes you to a shelter, check to see whether Fido is welcome or consider finding a pet-friendly shelter instead.

Alternatively, you can search for other places to take your pets. The American Red Cross says before a disaster strikes, you can investigate and make a list of places you can take your pet. Some potential options include:

  • A pet-friendly hotel (at the destination to which your family plans to evacuate)
  • The homes of friends or relatives in areas not affected by the disaster
  • Pet boarding facilities or veterinarians’ offices that offer emergency shelter
  • Animal shelters that provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets

Prep Your Pet With A Kit

If you’re not evacuating, you know it’s important to have emergency supplies for your family — and that includes your pets, too. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests compiling a pet emergency kit with the following items:

  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned or dry food
  • At least 7 days’ worth of water for your pet
  • A pet first aid kit
  • Garbage bags and/or pet waste bags for cleaning up
  • Feeding dishes
  • Dish soap, disinfectant and paper towels
  • 2 weeks’ worth of pet medicines
  • Photocopies of vet records
  • Extra collar/harness/leash
  • Travel carrier for pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (to use to pick up your pet)
  • Recent photos (in case your pet escapes)

You’ll also likely need a few other things, depending on the type of pet you have — such as a disposable litter box and litter for cats, or cage liners for dogs.

The ASPCA also recommends placing an alert sticker near your front door where rescue workers can see it so they’ll know to save your pet if a fire or flood occurs when you’re not home.

Click here to follow along with more “20 Days to Ready” emergency preparedness tasks.

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