Last week, I considered blogging about disaster preparedness during storm season. I decided not to because I thought it might be a bit of a downer, and, anyway, there weren’t any big storms on the horizon. That changed over the weekend. No one has suggested so far that we’ll get much more than a glancing blow from Earl, but it does make one consider what to do in the event of a more direct hit.
To help you consider all angles of your evacuation or shelter plan, the American Veterinary Medical Association has compiled a booklet called “Saving the Whole Family (Disaster Preparedness Series.)” When the AVMA says “whole family,” they mean pets, too. Many folks discover the hard way that storm shelters set up for people will not accept pets. Also, pets come with a laundry list of supplies needed to keep them in good health during evacuation.
The booklet, which provides pre-evacuation and post-crisis advice, is available at our office for $2. As a benefit, $1.50 of the purchase price will be donated to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation Animal Disaster Relief and Response Fund. The Fund will be used to cover costs associated with medical treatment for animals, animal care, medical teams and supplies in storm-damaged areas.
While the booklet is chock-full of good advice, you must still do some research of your own. Do you know which animal shelters in town are willing or able to take in pets during a hurricane? Is your pet guaranteed a spot at the shelter? What supplies and documentation will be required? There is no time like the present to learn about your options – don’t wait until the trees start bending.