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Are You Ready if Disaster Strikes?

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Emergencies occur all the time and can happen to any of us. It’s difficult to imagine what the victims of disasters go through unless you have been in their shoes yourself. All forms of catastrophic events can devastate not just us, but our pets as well.

That’s why already being prepared before disaster strikes is crucial, and preparedness entails taking the time to get ready now, before crises hit us. Proper emergency and disaster awareness can make all the difference later. You can save your pooch’s life by making an effort to create some general plans in advance.

· What to do before disaster strikes: Have a pet emergency kit ready. It should contain (at least) a leash and collar/harness or a carrier, bottled water, dry and canned food, food and water bowls, and a copy of Fido’s medical records with a recent photo of your dog. Also, ensure that your pet has current identification and that microchips are registered and continuously kept up-to-date.

Place emergency window stickers near the front and back doors of your home in case of fire or weather emergencies when you are not home. These stickers will alert rescuers that there are pets inside who need help.

· What to do during an emergency: If you are being evacuated, never ever leave your pets behind. You may be unable to return for days or even weeks. Pets left behind can become dehydrated and malnourished, injured, or even killed in the event that your home is damaged. The risk of drowning and escaping in panic are also possible. In addition, since not all evacuation centers accept animals, know your destination ahead of time and make the necessary arrangements if they won’t allow your pet to stay.

Disasters can strike at any time, often with minimal or no warning. Being prepared ahead of time is essential to keeping your entire family – and yes, that includes pets – safe and sound.

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.

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