By Flea - Be A Survivor
Your pets are part of your family and when you prepare for the worst you should ensure you have them on your list. Your pets need the staples just as you do but they may also have some special needs that you must take into account when you put your preparedness plan into motion.
As with most living creatures your pets will need food, make sure you put back enough of whatever is required to ensure you can keep them healthy during a crisis. Many times items can be substituted, in many cases pet food is specially formulated to ensure your pet is getting a balance diet. Ensure you have put back enough bird seed, rabbits food, dog food, mice, crickets, or whatever else your pet eats. This should be a part of your food stores and storage plan. Something as simple as fish food for example is relatively cheap and can be stockpiled in large quantities without taking up a lot of space.
Pets like most living creatures require water, so put back some with them in mind. Ensure you have adequate water storage to keep them hydrated and healthy.
Having adequate first aid materials to treat your pet if they were injured is very important. Many of the same items we use to treat human injuries will also work fine with pets. Have adequate gauze, tape, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream on hand to treat not only the humans in your “pack” but also the members from the animal kingdom as well.
We need to get a bit more specific with regard to the special needs of certain animals. Make sure you have any additional items that are needed for your particular pet. In the case of dogs, items like heart worm prevention medication and for many of species (cats, dogs, etc.), flea and tick preventatives. These items can be quite costly but a several months supply can be had for a reasonable amount of money.
Ensure you have any items you need to care for your pets such as grooming brushes, harnesses, leashes, cages, stakes, tie downs, feeding bowls, etc. These items are required to help keep your pet safe, out of the way and secure. They may not be available for quite some time so have them on hand with you and keep spares.
This type of preparedness becomes infinitely more important when you a start to talk about live stock animals because these animals are directly tied to YOUR survival. They may be part of your “food storage” program. Most of what I am saying will apply to them as well.
If you have to evacuate your immediate surroundings, please try to evacuate your pets as well. Human life comes first but in many cases animals are helpless to help themselves and will be relying on you to ensure their safety. Take them if you can, if you can’t please ensure your leave them in a safe environment with enough food and water to get them through until you can come back for them. I will say this again: Please take your pets with you if you have the choice!
MAKE SURE you have all your pets documentation especially things such as vaccination records (rabies is especially important) and medical history. Have these items with you and make sure if you have to evacuate that information is not left behind. A shelter may not accept your pet without PROOF of a rabies vaccination!!!
Some great resources for further research:
Community Pet Preparedness Toolkit
Pet Friendly Hotels and Motels
The Humane Society Disaster Preparedness Resources
Taking Trips With Pets
American Human Protecting Animals
Prepare.org Animal and Pet Owners
...that is all.
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