Include Pets in Your Emergency Readiness Plans

Live Beyond 9 Lives banner

This is a sponsored post by veterinarian Elizabeth Arguelles, owner of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza. She writes weekly on Reston Now.

Disaster can strike at any moment, and it’s important to develop an emergency evacuation plan and kit in case of flood, fire, tornado, hurricane or other disasters for you and your family. As you prepare your emergency plans, don’t forget to include your furry felines as well! It’s important to have a location planned out and a disaster preparedness kit ready to go in the event of an emergency to keep your family and furry friends safe.

Due to local and state regulations, evacuation shelters often cannot take pets when families in the surrounding area are evacuated from their homes, with the exception of service animals. Make sure to have a list with phone numbers and directions of any shelters that will accept pets during emergencies, any surrounding hotels that will house pets, any family members or friends outside the area that would be willing to house you and your pets, and any boarding facilities.  Frequently when emergency shelters do allow pets, they need to be housed in a crate, so you’ll want to be sure to have a crate large enough to fit your cat, a litter box, and food/water.

Next, you’ll want to have a disaster preparedness kit for your pets. The kit should include the following items stored in waterproof pouches or bags:

  • Prepared list of pet friendly evacuation locations with phone numbers and directions
  • Complete medical and vaccination records, including current microchip numbers (if applicable)
  • Any medications that your cat is taking and a prescription from your veterinarian in case your evacuation goes on longer than anticipated (including any prescription diets)
  • A basic pet first-aid kit available from the Red Cross or you can create your own. Make sure it includes the following items as recommended by the American Red Cross and The Humane Society of the United States: latex gloves, gauze sponges, roll of gauze, elastic cling bandage, material to make a split, adhesive tape, sterile pads, small scissors, tweezers, grooming clipper or safety razor, magnifying glass, nylon leash, towel, muzzle, emergency blanket, water-based sterile lubricant, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic towelettes, insect sting stop pads, cotton tipped swabs, instant cold pack, Epsom salt, baby dose syringe or eye dropper, sterile eye lubricant, sterile saline wash, safety pins, tongue depressor, children’s Benedryl with dosing instructions from your veterinarian, glucose syrup or caro syrup, styptic powder, plastic card to scrape away stingers, petroleum jelly, penlight with batteries, clean cloth, needle nose pliers, and a thermometer
  • With your first aid kit, it’s a good idea to have the book, Pet First Aid, by Barbara Mammato, DVM, MPH to let you know how to handle certain emergency situations. The book is endorsed by the American Red Cross and The Humane Society of the United States
  • Litter box, litter box scoop, bags to dispose of used litter, food and water dishes, bedding
  • Enough food, water, and litter to last for 10 days
  • 1 or 2 toys to help keep your pet comfortable
  • Recent photo of your cat and the microchip number in the event he/she becomes lost
  • For cats, Feliway spray or wipes is a great idea. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics a cat’s natural facial pheromone used to mark their territory.  By spraying or wiping down their carriers or crates, you can help decrease their stress level and make them more comfortable.
  • Sturdy Carrier or Crate and/or leash/harness

One of the biggest concerns when evacuating with your pet or in an emergency disaster situation is the risk of them escaping. Even when you are fully prepared, evacuation is still a stressful and uncertain process for your cat. The best prevention against losing your cat is a microchip and a break-away collar with tag.  Make sure to keep an updated photo of your cat and the phone number for the microchip company so you can report your cat missing as soon as it happens.

Make sure that each side of your house, on a window or door, is a sticker stating how many pets and what type are in your home and a contact number to be reached at if needed. This can be lifesaving information during an evacuation, or even if there is a house fire when you are not home. If you evacuate your home with your pets, make sure to put a sticker or identifying label on your front door and any ground level windows that says “EVACUATED”, which indicates to rescuers that you and your pet are already safe.

Recent Stories

A sign urging drivers to “take a moment” has been placed at the Oakton High School road exit (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Fairfax County will introduce speed cameras to…

Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia (via Mike Conway/Unsplash) Fairfax County is still working through negotiations with Comcast for cable service in Reston. Although discussions are still underway, the Fairfax County Board…

Fairfax County police cruiser with lights on (via FCPD/Facebook) A dog was shot and killed by Fairfax County police during a search of a house in Herndon this morning. Officers…

Fairfax County’s I-66 Transfer Station (via Google Maps) Residents served by Haulin’ Trash, the now-bankrupt private trash collector, will be allowed to use Fairfax County’s waste disposal facilities at no charge…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list