National disaster preparedness month
September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. This campaign is led by FEMA's Ready Campaign, Citizen Corps and The Advertising Council in efforts to encourage individuals, families, business and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies. We wanted to be sure you aren't forgetting a game plan for your beloved pets during this time as well. On today's Wellness Wednesday we are going to give you advice on preparing your pet for a national disaster.
Make a plan
During a disaster one thing to remember is that what's good for you, is good for your pet. So its always good to get a plan in place as you never know when a disaster could happen. Leaving your pets behind increases the chances of them being lost, injured or worse. It is never a good idea to leave your pets outside. Below are options on ways you can make a plan for your pet.
- Pet Friendly Hotels: Find a pet friendly hotel that is on your evacuation route. Calling ahead of time to make a reservation is always a good idea
- Boarding Facilities: Knowing places that board pets or animal hospitals that are on your evacuation shelter can be a lifesaver. Like a hotel it is always good to book ahead just to be sure you secure a spot for your animals.
- Friends or Relatives: Considering an out of town friend or relative that would be willing to look after your dog incase of an emergency.
- LOCATE A VETERINARIAN OR ANIMAL HOSPITAL: In the case that your pets need medical care in an evacuation, it is good to know a veterinarian or an animal hospital that is on your route. Have this information handy by keeping it in a safe place life an emergency or first aid kit.
- MICROCHIP: Having your pet microchipped is always helpful regardless of an emergency. If your animals are microchipped, be sure that all your information is up to date on their files.
These are just a few ways to help you get a plan in places in case of a national disaster. It's also a good idea to call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice or additional information.
build a kit
Having an emergency or first aid kit could be a lifesaver during a national disaster. By including basic survival items and items to keep your pet happy and comfortable can go a long way during an emergency. Below is a list of items that are suggested to be kept in your pets emergency preparedness kit.
- FOOD: At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
- WATER: At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- MEDICINES & MEDICAL RECORDS: These items are good to have around at all times.
- IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS: Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- FIRST AID KIT: Cotton bandage rolls, bandage table and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flee and tick prevention; latest gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
- COLLAR OR HARNESS WITH ID TAG, RABIES TAG & A LEASH: Anytime you travel with your pet these items are good to keep on hand.
- CRATE OR PET CARRIER: Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
- SANITATION: Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A PICTURE OF YOU & YOUR PET TOGETHER: If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
- FAMILIAR ITEMS: Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
We hope you will take this month to focus on getting a plan of action together for your pet in case of a national disaster. Preparation is key when it comes to emergency situations. The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel is a great resources for boarding your pets in case of a disaster. Remember all pets are welcome at The Ark. Be sure to add your local Ark on the emergency list for boarding. If you don't have your local Ark's phone number of address see below or visit our website www.thearkspa.com.
- The Ark Red Bank: 423-634-0466, 1100 Dayton Blvd, Chattanooga, Tn 37405
- The Ark East Brainerd: 423-521-8888, 7760 East Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, Tn 37421
- The Ark Doraville: 770-696-1897, 6485 Peachtree Ind. Blvd, Doraville, Ga 30360
- The Ark Hixson: 423-803-6063, 5461 Hixson Pike, Chattanooga, Tn 37343