5 tips to keep your four-legged family members safe in an emergency
Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 1-7, and the Ontario SPCA, the Humane Society and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) have joined forces to send an important message : Everyone needs an emergency plan, and that should include your furry family members. .
If an emergency arose that required you to evacuate or shelter in place, would you be prepared? Here are five tips to keep you and your furry family members safe in an emergency:
- Prepare an emergency preparedness kit with everything you, your family and your pets will need in the first 72 hours of an emergency, including first aid kits for people and pets . You should check your emergency kit at least twice a year and update it if necessary. Store your supplies in an airtight container(s).
- Have an escape plan in place that includes your pets. Find out about the locations of evacuation centers in your municipality and about pet policies for evacuation. Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area and check their emergency pet policy. Ask friends and family outside of your immediate area if they could shelter your pets in an emergency.
- Make sure your dog or cat wears a collar with an ID tag, ideally with your phone number or the number of a relative outside your area in case you have evacuated and cannot not be reached by phone. It is also important to have your pet microchipped and keep this information up to date to increase the chances of being reunited in an emergency.
- Keep a current photo of your pet with you. Make sure it includes their name, address, and a brief description, including any unique markings, in case you need to claim your pet or share information about your lost pet in an emergency.
- Post an emergency sticker on your front door to notify first responders that there are pets inside the home. If an emergency like a fire happens when you’re away from home, it helps increase the chances that your pets will be rescued or get the care they need. To request a free emergency sticker, visit ontariospca.ca/ep
“Having the necessary shelter-in-place supplies or an evacuation plan with your pets in place, preparing for the unexpected will help ensure that you are able to care for your pets in emergencies,” says Jennifer Bluhm, Vice President, Community Outreach Services, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.
“No one wants or expects an emergency, but everyone needs to be prepared just in case,” says OAFC President, Deputy Chief Rob Grimwood. “A simple 72-hour emergency preparedness kit, plus a pre-planned emergency escape route for you, your family and your pets can save the lives of those you love the most. .”
For more emergency planning resources and to request a free emergency sticker, visit ontariospca.ca/ep