Emergencies happen. Are your pets prepared?
March 1, 2020
Wildfire. Earthquake. Winter storm. Windstorm. Any of these events can, and have, happened in Alaska. And any of them can result in you and your pet having to either shelter-in-place or evacuate. Are you and your pet prepared for either of these scenarios?
Being prepared starts with thinking ahead:
Ask neighbors to help with your animals if you're away from home and can't get back to your pets.
Assign one person in the family who is responsible for making sure your pets are evacuated with you.
Know where you can go with your pets, whether it's a friend or family member's home, a pet-friendly hotel, or a shelter set up by your local emergency office.
Can you transport all of your pets in one vehicle and do you have kennels/carriers for each animal?
Keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations in case they have to go to a temporary shelter.
A frightened animal, even your own, will behave differently. Even your own animal may bite if they are severely stressed. If you know your pet is frightened easily and/or has a history of trying to bite out of fear, get your pet used to wearing a muzzle so they can be muzzled and handled safely during an emergency.
A frightened pet may take flight. Make sure your pet is always wearing identification and has a microchip. Also make sure the contact information is up-to-date, especially with the microchip company and your local municipal shelter.
To shelter-in-place you should have:
Several days of food and water for each pet.
Blankets and beds to keep pets warm, especially elderly or sick pets.
Be sure to check fencing if there has been an earthquake or heavy winds.
Have a "ready pack" for your pet with food, toys, bowls and bedding.
Have a carrier or kennel for each pet so they can travel safely and be secured in a temporary shelter.
If you leave pets behind, you will not be able to get back to them until the evacuation order is lifted so all efforts should be made to take your pets with you.
For more information:
Laura Atwood is the public relations coordinator for the Anchorage Animal Care and Control.