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Help clients prepare their pets for disaster
Rule No. 1 for helping pets survive natural disaster: be prepared.
When a natural disaster occurs, clients will worry about the welfare of their pets. These worries prompted Alex Close to create the Save Your Pet Pack. Close, the owner of two cats, noticed a lack of products to care for pets during an emergency, so she created her own.
The Save Your Pet Pack can be used for any type of disaster: earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. The sling-bags full of emergency supplies are designed for people or their pets to wear, and they're hands-free. To learn more about the bags, click here.
Here are some of Close's top tips you can share with clients for how to plan ahead:
- Purchase a pet emergency kit. It should contain a comprehensive pet first aid kit, a three-day food and water supply, medications, a temporary collar, identifying documentation, and current vaccination records. Include a photo of you with your pet to prove ownership.
- Prepare identification. Always have a securely fastened collar with current contact information on your animal. Microchip your pet and label all carriers with up-to-date personal and veterinary information.
- Practice home escape-drills. Do this twice a year using two different exits, and don't forget to include your pets.
- Prepare transportation. Have carriers for each animal fully assembled at all times-train your animal to be on a leash or harness or in a cage or carrier. Label carriers with your personal and veterinary information. Also include details on your temporary shelter location.
- Consider alternate housing. Find friends and neighbors who are willing to take your pets if disaster strikes. Find pet-friendly places to stay (pet-friendly hotels), including locations within a 50-mile radius in case of far-reaching evacuation. Pinpoint kennels and veterinarians in your area. Create a list and map of your local shelters.
- Use the buddy system. Exchange pet information and evacuation plans with trusted friends and neighbors. Inform them of your pet's favorite hiding places and let them know where you keep leashes and carriers/crates. If you're away during an emergency, they can keep your pets safe.