Emergencies and natural disasters are scary and stressful for everybody – especially our pets. With a little bit of planning, however, you can make sure that your pets will be safe and comfortable if something unexpected happens.
Once you have your kit assembled, make a plan. Where will you and your pet go in the event of an emergency? You might be forced to leave your home, so think of lodging options. Are there friends or family members outside of your immediate area who could take in both you and your pets? If not, research pet-friendly hotels and scout out boarding facilities just in case you have to temporarily separate from your pets.
You'll also want ways to quickly identify your pets in case they wander away from home during an emergency. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping your pets and make sure they're always wearing a collar with an ID tag. Also, ensure that your contact information is written on your pet's carrier. Ready.gov even suggests carrying a photo that shows you and your pet together so you can prove ownership.
What if you're away from home and can't get to your pets when disaster strikes? Work out a "buddy system" with friends, family, or neighbors so that you'll have someone who can check on your pets. The ASPCA also offers free stickers you can place on your front door to let rescue workers know that pets are inside. You can order yours at ASPCA.org.
For more information on putting together a pet emergency plan, visit Ready.gov and ASPCA.org.
If your pet becomes injured in an after-hours emergency, you can contact Animal Emergency & Referral Associates, AERA’s 24/7 emergency vet hospital in Fairfield, NJ at 973-788-0500. Animal Emergency & Referral Associates is open 365 days a year, including holidays for emergency pet care.