Those of us who live in the South region are far too familiar with tornadoes. We live in a region of the country where tornadoes are likely to occur nearly year-round. Even worse, the tornadoes that plague our area are most often long-tracking, damaging tornadoes. The average number of tornadoes in Arkansas each year is thirty-nine. Living in a part of the country where tornadoes are known to strike, increases the need to have a disaster plan for our pets, as well as ourselves. In addition to creating a disaster plan, in case a weather emergency makes you unable to care for your pet, the following few tips can help you to keep your pet safe during a tornado.
Prepare a safe room for you and your pet
It should go without saying that the first step is to bring your pets inside. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them, either. Choose a safe room, preferably a storm shelter or cellar (basement). In this safe room, you should already have in place emergency pet supplies, including these basics:
- An adequate supply of food, water, and treats
- Sanitation items such as a litter box and puppy pads
- A crate to provide a secure place for your pet to weather the storm
It is also a good idea to make sure your safe room is already animal friendly by closing off any unsafe areas and moving dangerous items, like toxic products and tools, that may be stored in that area.
Practice makes perfect
As children, we were required to endure fire drills and tornado drills at school. Even if the chance was small that they would ever be put to use, it still helped to at least be familiar with what to do during an emergency. Practicing with your pets is also important. If nothing else, it will help you to determine any possible issues you may have, that you did not consider. Practice getting your pet into your safe room. This may require quickly finding your pet in his favorite hiding place, and practicing how to safely remove him.
In case of evacuation . . .
If you are required to evacuate instead of finding shelter in your safe room, then you need to be ready to take your pets and their emergency supplies with you. What is important to remember is, even if you believe you may only be gone for a few hours, take your pets. You can never predict how long you may be kept out of the area, or if you will even be allowed to go back for your pet.
Be sure that your pet wears a collar with an identification tag, with current information visible at all times. This will increase the chance of being reunited with your pet, if anything causes you to be separated. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped.
If you have questions regarding pets and disasters, or any other pet planning issues, please contact Wilcox Attorneys, PA online or by calling us at (470) 443-0062.
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