Natural Disaster Safety - Establishing an Emergency Plan for Your Dog
The author's dog, wearing her emergency vest. Patti Lawson
Get ready before disaster strikes. Pay attention to weather reports, and don't take chances with your life or your dog's life. Have a place secured where you can go with your dog when a hurricane or other weather disaster is approaching. If you decide to ride a storm out at home, have supplies ready. Make sure you have a room where you will be safe and have food, water, medications and any other necessary item for your dog, including a favorite blanket for comfort. These things should always be ready in a safe place and not gathered in a frantic moment or two before the event.
At a minimum, the following should be part of your safety plan:
1. Post pet rescue alert stickers at the exterior doors of your house.
2. Practice an exit drill that includes your dog. The No. 1 reason dogs perish in house fires and hurricanes is because they're left alone confined in a room or a kennel. Put your dog's collar on with identification tags attached, and take the dog out of the house on a leash.
3. Keep your dog's leash and ID collar in the same place all the time. This makes it easy to find in an emergency. Consider purchasing a flame-retardant reflective vest with room to hold your dog's information and extra collars with all necessary tags attached in case of a need to evacuate your house swiftly. These vests can also serve as flotation devices, which are priceless when flooding occurs. Get one for each of your dogs and have them ready when needed.