Emergencies and disasters have affected many of us around the country this past year. This past week, the Midwest has had string of tornadoes. This past summer, in our neck of the woods, western MA also experienced tornadoes. As Massachusetts residents, we are used to unpredictable and bad weather.
March 9th 2012: Reunited with his beloved dog, Alabama tornado victim Greg Cook cries with joy. Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.
However, whether you have one pet or a household full of pets, it is important to be prepared for any emergency. We asked Dr. Amy Shroff, Practice Owner of VESCONE and Chair of the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association’s Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Committee to give us some tips on how to best manage a disaster or emergency with pets.
Here is a checklist of things you should consider before an emergency strikes.
- What is your evacuation plan for your family and pets?
- Do you have a pet first aid kit?
- Where can you stay for emergency or temporary housing?
- Do you know where your nearest 24 hour emergency veterinary hospital like VESCONE is located?
- Do you have 3 days’ worth of food, medication, bedding and supplies for your pet ready in the event you need to leave your home quickly?
- In the event something should happen to you and/or you are away from your pet, do you have an emergency contact who also knows your pet and his or her needs?
The better prepared you are, the better other aid organizations like the Red Cross or SMART (State of MA Animal Response Team) can help should you need it.
We also recommend that pet owners have:
- pet insurance
- be up to date on all of their pet’s vaccinations--including rabies
- have an accurately registered microchip
- have name and address tags on their pets collar
- carry a Pet ID info card on you at all times
A Pet ID card is a handy small card you can keep in your wallet or glove compartment that contains all of your pet’s emergency contact info, rabies back dates, and veterinary information all in one place.
VESCONE offers these cards at our Pet First Aid classes. Please see our website for more information about our First Aid Classes for Pet Owners http://www.vescone.com/for-pet-owners/first-aid-classes/.
For more information about emergency and disaster preparedness, please visit these websites: