You can be prepared for the next disaster by heightening your awareness, working with your local government to find out what they are doing, and offering to assist them in preparing a disaster plan. Local veterinarians and livestock producers play especially important roles in local plans. Here are some ideas for preparing to protect your animals during a disaster:
- Know how to get early warnings about threats like flood, fire, and disease outbreaks by tuning into the Emergency Alert System in your area.
- Talk to your veterinarian about evacuation and emergency care for your animals.
- Identify an emergency animal shelter location nearby: kennels, adjoining farms, state and local fairgrounds, etc.
- Get to know the policies and staff of your local animal control authority, as well as the local animal non-profit rescue and care groups.
- Ask neighbors and friends to evacuate your animals if a disaster strikes when you are away.
- License your companion animals; make sure your animals can be easily identified (microchip, identification tags, tattoos, ear tags, etc.) so they can be reunited with you after the disaster.
- Take pictures of you with your animal(s) so you can show proof of ownership if you are separated during a disaster.
- Assemble an animal disaster kit.
Adapted from Santa Clara County, CA.