Hey, there. CAT Stanley here. I always share my person’s newspaper and read along when she reads. (Don’t tell her though. She doesn’t know I read along. She thinks I just like laying on the paper.) If you read the newspaper too or listen to the news, you probably already know it’s tornado season. To all the people and animals impacted by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, my heart goes out to you. Nobody, two-legged or four-legged, should have to go through the devastation and tragedy that you have.
For the rest of us, these recent disasters remind us that we need to be prepared in case of emergencies too. Whether the emergency is a tornado, a hurricane, a fire, a flood, or something else, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death for our families. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has put together this booklet to help: Saving the Whole Family.
You should take a few moments to read through the booklet but here are some of the highlights:
- Don’t wait until a crisis occurs to make a plan. Know where you will go and how you will get there. Make sure your pet is welcome or that you have an alternative location in which to house your pet.
- If you have to evacuate your home, take your pet with you. Even if you believe you’ll only be gone for a short time, don’t leave your pet behind.
- Prepare an evacuation kit and a first aid kit. (More information about what should be included in these kits is included in the booklet.)
- Be sure your pet has identification. This identification should include rabies and license tags. Forms of ID for dogs and cats include tags (with your name, address, and telephone number engraved) and microchips. Ideally, your pet will have both an identification tag and a microchip.
- Include your pet’s medical records and other important documents (licenses, etc.) in your evacuation kit.
- Be sure you have a carrier available to transport and, if necessary, house each of your pets.
These are just a few of the more important suggestions provided. Cats, be sure your person reads this booklet thoroughly and makes an emergency plan now. Don’t wait. The booklet provides lots of information about including cats in an evacuation plan. That’s as it should be because, of course, we’re the most important species around. But there’s also lots of information about planning for dogs, livestock, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and small mammals in the booklet. It also talks about what to do during an emergency and after.