Images from the aftermath of hurricane Katrina of pets being taken from their owners during evacuation are disturbing and heartbreaking. While any emergency you may encounter is not as likely to be as dire as a hurricane, it still makes good sense to include your pets in your own household emergency plan. Here are some tips:
- If staying in a hotel or motel is a possibility, contact them and find out what their policies are for guests with pets during an emergency.
- Contact local veterinarians and boarding kennels to find out which ones offer animals shelter during an emergency.
- When preparing your own household emergency kit, keep your pets in mind. Make sure to include food, water, bowls, leashes and collars, medications and a recent picture of your pets in case they become lost.
- Understand that American Red Cross disaster shelters do not accept pets unless they are service animals assisting people with disabilities.
- Contact your local humane society to see what assistance they might provide in sheltering and caring for animals during an emergency.