Being Prepared for an Emergency

Do you have a plan for your pets if there is ever an emergency?

I feel it is important to have such a plan should an evacuation be needed or if there is ever a natural disaster. Having a plan for an evacuation will more than likely also be a plan that can be used in other circumstances. Years ago, I thought the only people who needed evacuation plans were those who lived in areas prone to hurricanes and similar things. However, disasters can happen anywhere and an evacuation can be necessary for anybody. I learned my lesson in 2007 when a train derailed very close to my house. Because the train was carrying hazardous materials, an evacuation was necessary. Since then, I've made an effort to be at least somewhat prepared.

The first part of an emergency plan is figuring out a way to transport pets if the need arises. In my case, all three of the birds have travel cages. I have a carrier for the guinea pigs. Our three little dogs all have crates that can be easily carried. We have carriers for the cats as well. The big dogs have crates too, however, they would be difficult to use for emergency transport, but they are okay being without a crate. The travel cages and carriers are kept in easily accessible areas. Right now, I do not have designated carries for my turtles or bearded dragon, however it would be very easy to find something for them in an emergency.

The second part is food. This is where dry food for all the pets comes in handy. It would be difficult to keep fresh food on hand and ready to go if there's an emergency. For the birds, I make sure I never run out of seeds or pellets. The same is true for the guinea pigs and the turtles and their pellets. I have some freeze-dried crickets set aside for my bearded dragon. Dog and cat food is easy as well; both the dog food and the cat food is located by the door.

The next thing is a plan in case the electricity goes out. Unless it is winter or in the middle of the summer, the mammals and birds will be fine--they don't rely on anything like that to keep them alive. The reptiles are harder as they are cold blooded and need heat. I keep Hot Hands for using in an emergency. These things warm up once you open them and stay warm for hours.

The final thing is to make sure to have any paperwork that might be needed ready to go. This includes vet records, emergency vet contacts, any medications needed, and general information on each animal. Personally, I have a binder that has all of the information I could need on my pets, excluding the dogs and cats. For the dogs and cats, we have a folder for all of their information. The information that is kept on hand needs to be kept up to date. I'm also in the process of making electronic back-ups to save online.


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