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 Real Estate Blog 
Friday, September 02 2011

Tropical storm season officially started this month, so it’s a great time to double-check the disaster plan for your family — including your pets. If you leave them behind when you evacuate, they’ll most likely end up lost, injured, or killed, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

“Many public shelters that are set up for disaster victims don’t accept pets, so you need to find out in advance which shelters or hotels along your evacuation route will accept pets,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for III. “It is tragic, but people have actually died because they were ordered to evacuate and did not want to leave their pets behind.”

Try these four tips to protect you, your loved ones, and your pets in the event of a disaster:

1. Have a disaster plan that includes these elements:

  • Make a plan for where you will go and how you will get there.
  • Map out your primary route and a backup route in case roads are blocked or impassable. Make sure you have a map of the area available.
  • Put together a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians along the evacuation route and outside your area that might be able to shelter your pets in an emergency. Include emergency phone numbers.
  • Talk to your vet, the humane society, or the local emergency management agency for information regarding community evacuation plans that include pets.
  • Make advance arrangements to have a friend or neighbor pick up your pets in the event you are not at home when a disaster strikes. Plan where you will meet or how you will reach each other.

2. Make a grab-and-go disaster kit for your pets with these items:

  • Medication and medical records (including proof of rabies vaccination) in a waterproof container
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Leashes, harnesses, crates, and carriers for transporting pets
  • A muzzle, if your pet requires one
  • Food and water for at least three days; a manual can opener
  • Cat litter and litter box
  • Comfort toys
  • Recent photo of you and your pet in case you become separated
  • Name and phone number of your veterinarian
  • If you have pet insurance, the insurance company contact information and policy number

3. If you must evacuate with your pets, be prepared to leave early. If you wait for an official evacuation order, you might be told to leave your pets behind. As you evacuate, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure your pet is wearing up-to-date identification. Include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your area in case your pet gets lost and you cannot be reached. Mark the crate or carrier with similar information.
  • Transport birds in a secure travel cage or carrier. During warm weather, carry a plant mister to mist the bird’s feathers periodically. Do not put water inside the carrier during transport; instead provide a few slices of fresh fruit or vegetables with high water content.

4. After the disaster, do not allow your pets to roam after you arrive back home because familiar landmarks and smells might be gone, and your pet may become disoriented. Pets can easily get lost in such situations, so give them some time to get used to their “new” surroundings.

Be patient. Try to get your pets back into their normal routines as soon as possible, and be on the lookout for stress-related behavioral problems; if these persist, talk to your veterinarian.

Source: III

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Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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