June is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Month

manhattan beach best dog cat boardingOur pets are our family members! Being prepared for an emergency means being prepared to protect and take care of our pets in case of any disaster, including: an earthquake, fire, flood, mudslide, tornado.

Our veterinarians want you to know the simple steps you can follow now to make sure you and your pets are ready before the an emergency or disaster strikes.

Veterinarians’ Steps for Pet Emergency Preparedness

1. Get a Pet Rescue Alert Sticker

These stickers are placed on a door or window to let rescuers know that pets are inside your home. The sticker includes the types and number of pets in your home – and the name and number of emergency contacts including your veterinarian.

You can get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, online from the ASPCA HERE.

2. Designate a “Safe Haven” for Your Pet

In the event you must evacuate your home, DO NOT leave your pets behind. They may become trapped or they may escape and be risk exposure to life-threatening hazards.

BEFORE an emergency or disaster strikes, determine at least two facilities where you can safely board your pet, if the need arises.

Many hotels and shelters DO NOT accept pets, so it is imperative to determine ahead of time where you will bring your pets in case of disaster.

Manhattan Beach Animal Hospital offers safe, secure, loving pet boarding – which is an excellent first choice for your pet. We can also provide you with names of our preferred boarding kennels and facilities – in the event the immediate area must be evacuated.

Identifying hotels or motels outside of the immediate area that accept pets ahead of time, is also wise. Remember in a large scale disaster, cell phone and Internet service may not be available.

You can also ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to house your pet in the case of an emergency.

3. Designate Substitute Temporary & Permanent Pet Caregivers

Every parent has considered who will take their children in the even that they or their spouse become incapacitated, indisposed or unavailable due to an emergency. The same should be done for our cats, dogs & other pets!

For a temporary pet caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence and who is familiar with your pets – or at least comfortable with pet care. Pick someone who is generally home during the day – or who has the flexibility to be available – and who has easy access to your home. If possible keys to your home should be given to this trusted individual.

Selecting a permanent caregiver – in the event something should happen to you – involves consideration of other long term criteria. Be sure to discuss your desire and expectations at length with your designated permanent caregiver, to ensure they are willing and able to care for your pet.

4. Prepare Emergency Supplies and a Traveling Kit

Hoping for the best, but planning for the worst-case scenario is always wise.

Evacuation due to a disaster can often be sudden – and last several days or weeks. To minimize evacuation time, take the following simple steps.

  • Make sure all pets have collars, tags and microchips with up-to-date identification information.
  • Have your pet’s carrier easily accessible – with your pet’s name, your name and contact information written on it.
  • Store an emergency kit & leash near an exit – making sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. The “Evac-Pack” should include:

o   Pet first-aid kit

o   3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food

o   & days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet

o   Pet feeding dishes and water bowls

o   Disposable litter tray and litter for cats

o   A week’s worth of cage liner for dogs, birds, lizards

o   Paper toweling

o   Liquid dish soap and disinfectant

o   Disposable garbage bags for clean-up

o   Flashlight

o   Blanket(s)

o   Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash and toys

o   Photocopies and/or USB of your pet’s medical records

o   Two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires

o   Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated)

Remember, food, water and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit every 2 months so that they do not expire or go bad.

5. Determine Safe Rooms or Areas

If you live in an area that is prone to certain specific natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, you should plan accordingly. In California it is especially important to determine the safest place in your home during an earthquake.

If you have, or may, lose electricity during a disaster fill up your bathtubs and sinks to ensure that you have water during the crises. In the event of flooding, take your family and your pets to the highest location in your home, or a room with high counters or shelves.

Additionally, always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of any storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented during a crises and may wander away from home.

There is also an excellent, free ASPCA mobile app that shows pet parents exactly what to do in case of a natural disaster. The ASPCA app also allows you to store your pet’s medical records.

South Bay Veterinarians & Pet Boarding

If you have question about emergency preparedness, or want to know more about the temporary and emergency boarding options we offe, call our caring veterinary staff. Our veterinarians want to make sure that you and your pets are prepared for any emergency or disaster!

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