September is National Preparedness Month: #PlanAhead

National Preparedness Month

With the events of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma fresh in our minds and the anniversary of 9/11 this week, disaster planning has been on my mind. FEMA sponsors National Preparedness Month annually in September. This is a good opportunity to review the contents of your pet’s go-bag for an emergency evacuation.

Go-bag?
A go-bag, whether it is for you or your pet, is a small, sturdy portable bag which you pre-pack to have ready in case of an urgent evacuation order from government officials. It contains both personal items and official documents.

Pet Documents
Create a document with your name and contact information, your pet’s veterinarian, your pet’s microchip number, and a photo of you and your pet. This photo can be used to create lost pet fliers if your pet gets lost during the emergency. Include your pet’s age, sex, breed and color in this document. Get a printout of your pet’s vaccinations and medications from your veterinarian. Laminate or enclose these documents in a waterproof envelope.

Pet Supplies
Many of the items in your first aid kit can be used to treat an injured pet,
but you will need to carry any medications prescribed for your pet as well as their monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventatives. Both cats and dogs should have an extra leash that attaches to their collar or harness in their go-bag. Cats need a litter box and litter. Plastic bags for waste disposal are key to keeping your temporary shelter clean and tidy. If your car has plenty of room, a collapsible pet crate and a blanket for your pet will come in handy.

Food and Water
Check your local pet emporium for collapsible bowls and water dispensing attachments for bottled water and select some for the go-bag that are light and pack easily. Experts recommend carrying a 3-day food supply in your pet’s go-gag. Easy to do for cat families; less so if you have a Great Dane. But perhaps the Great Dane can carry their own go-bag in a dog saddlebag backpack.

Double Check Data
While you are working on your pet’s go-bag, take the time to make sure their microchip is registered properly with the chip registry and that your veterinarian has the microchip number recorded in their files. Microchips
are responsible for many happy reunions of pets and families. If you need to evacuate, make sure your pet also has a collar with ID tags.

To find more on emergency preparedness, follow these hashtags on Twitter: #NatlPrep #PlanAhead.

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