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Severe Weather Planning for Pets: Easy as 1-2-3
Start Date: 3/19/2014 All Day
Entry Description

Severe Weather Planning for Pets:  Easy as 1-2-3

CONTACT:  Denise Derrer, 317-544-2414; dderrer@boah.in.gov

INDIANAPOLIS (17 March 2014)—As cold winter weather yields to sunny days, Hoosier pet owners should plan now for the inevitable stormy weather that arrives with spring. Preparing now can keep every member of the family (including those with fur or feathers) safe in the face of tornadoes, flooding or power outages.

According to Sandra Norman, DVM, Companion Animal Director for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH), planning is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

“Preparedness planning for pets is not hard to do,” explains Dr. Norman. “Just think ahead to what your pet would need for three to five days if life is disrupted by a disaster. There are really just three components to have in a disaster plan.”

  1.  A “Go Kit”:  Have assembled, in one place and ready to grab in an instant, everything a pet would need for a three- to five-day trip away from home. This includes a crate/carrier, water and food bowls, bottled water and food, leash, treats, toys, medications, copies of vaccination records and (for cats) litter and a disposable litter pan.

“A Go Kit should be customized to the individual needs of each animal, whether it’s a cat or bird or large dog. Everything should be in one place, ready to go to keep your pet comfortable,” she said.

  1. An evacuation plan:  Pre-determine three to five places where your pet can stay if you must leave your home quickly. This could be a kennel, veterinary clinic with boarding services, the home of a friend or family member, or (for those who prefer to stay with their pets) pet-friendly hotels. Have all the contact information, including addresses and phone numbers stored in Go Kit or on a smart phone. Identify places 5 miles to 20 miles away from home, in case the disaster area is widespread.

“Confirming policies and selecting sites ahead of time can ease much stress in an emergency,” said Dr. Norman.

  1. A shelter-in-place plan:  In some situations, staying at home (or “sheltering in place”) may be the best option for your pet. When you need to stay put with your animals, secure them indoors, like in a bathroom, barn or garage, preferably without windows. The smaller space will protect the pet from injury from debris or weather conditions. If possible, provide the added security of a crate or cage, to provide a calm environment when pets are more likely to act out under stress.

“Bathrooms are ideal, because they are small, have running water, and often pet-friendly flooring,” she explained.

A disaster plan for animals does not have to be complicated or difficult to prepare.

“The important thing is to have everything in one place and, in the case of evacuation plans, written down,” Dr. Norman notes. “The extra 10 or 15 minutes you will save by not having to gather everything on your way out the door, can mean the difference between life or death to you and your pet.”

For more information on disaster planning for animals, visit the BOAH website at www.boah.in.gov or Facebook at www.facebook.com/inboah .

Location Information:
Marion County
IN
Marion
Default
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Business & Agriculture
  • Agency Name
    Animal Health, Indiana State Board of

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