The Savvy VetTech

National Preparedness Month #NatlPrep: Don't Forget the Pets

by Lori Hehn - September 10, 2018 at 9:35 AM
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There have been many recent natural disasters around the globe. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. People may be prepared for the disasters that are more common in their region, but disasters can affect all of us in more ways than you think.

Even if you aren't directly impacted, a disaster somewhere else in the nation could affect gas and transportation, supply of water, food, and mail delivery. The things were are used to having every day may not always be readily available when disaster strikes. #NatlPrep

In general, you should have plan should something happen and know exactly what you would do in various scenarios. This means having a basic food pantry supply, a way to store water, and a planned evacuation route. The amount of storage you need may depend upon where you live. 

Most of us consider our pets part of the family and will be bringing them along if we must evacuate. They too must have their basic needs met during a disaster and they 100% depend on us to make it happen for them. As a veterinary technician, you can take the initiative and speak to your manager about making a client handout on pet preparedness this month!

Here are some things you can do to prepare:

  • Keep an extra supply of food for your pets.  Always have an extra bag of food and rotate the bags so the food stays fresh. Canned food has a longer shelf life, so perhaps keep an extra case of dog food stored just in case.
  • If pets are on chronic medications, make sure that you always have a good supply and keep refilled 1-2 week in advance.
  • Keep their identification information and Rabies vaccine information handy in case you need to cross state lines.
  • Make sure you have a carrier/kennel in case they need to be secured during a disaster.
  • Have a friend or family member on stand by to help you if you are away and your pets may need help.
  • Make sure your pets are micro-chipped. In the case that you are separated from your pets, a microchip may be the only hope of you reuniting with them as collars are often lost.
  • Keep a list of pet friendly hotels along different routes of where you may go in case you need it and keep it with your emergency bag.

Visit www.ready.gov/animals for further tips on how to prepare your pets for a disaster.

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About Lori Hehn

Lori Hehn is a practicing veterinarian and a contributor and content manager with XPrep Learning Solutions. She has a drive for continual learning and enjoys interacting with veterinary and vet tech students. She also writes veterinary learning books for children.

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