Hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, fires, and snowstorms are easily viewed in real-time on our cell phones. You may have envisioned what it must be like to be rescued from a rooftop in rising waters, or what you might do as a twister approaches your car. While considering how you might save yourself, do you have a plan for saving your dog in a natural disaster, too?
It would be heartbreaking to leave your dog behind when faced with a life-saving decision during a natural disaster. You can better the odds of both you and your dog making it out alive if you have prepared an escape for both of you ahead of any danger.
Remember the fire or tornado drills you practiced in elementary school? They seemed silly at the time, but the repetitive drills instilled an action plan in your 4th-grade memory bank.
Create a Plan to Save Your Dog
Veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter suggests drawing up two plans so all environmental considerations are covered.
Plan to Go. If your house becomes unsafe, you need to be able to “grab and go.” Keep these items handy: spare collar and leash, soft-sided pet carrier, collapsible pet bowl, several days’ supply of food in a waterproof bag or container, pet medications, and poop bags. Keep a list of shelters or hotels that will accept your dog.
Plan to Stay. Isolate your pets in one area so they can be evacuated if your plan changes. Ensure that your residence has been protected from the elements as much as possible. Bring everything your pet needs into the safe space, and listen to local news and emergency alerts for information.
What You Can Do Right Now
Whether you decide to evacuate or stay safe at home, one of the most important things you can do before an emergency hits is to make sure your dog is microchipped and is wearing up-to-date identification. During a storm, some people even add their cell phone number to their pet’s abdomen with a waterproof Sharpie pen. Most of us would do whatever it takes to save our dog in a natural disaster. Acting now to get your pup chipped and tagged could help your plan to “go or stay” result in a happy ending.