The purpose of this blog post is to provide my fifth installment in the disaster preparedness series, the criticality to prepare our pet’s needs in advance, prior to disaster striking.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France
According to the American Pet Products Association, (APPA) 67% of all Americans own a pet. This equates to 84.9 million American homes! Simply put, this leaves many Americans with the critical need to establish a disaster plan for our pets.
How many times have you seen the footage of a family not willing to leave their home before or after a disaster because they cannot, or, are not able to take their pets with them?! Answer…too many. Let’s take the time now to prepare ourselves and our pets for the unknown.
GOAL: albeit you “shelter in place,” or evacuate, to provide for your pets at a moment’s notice while minimizing stress and anxiety.
A common thread throughout this disaster preparedness series is, to establish a secure, easy-to-access location. If disaster struck right now, are you prepared to handle, care, and potentially evacuate for your pet quickly and safely? Unfortunately, most Americans are not. Let’s take a deep breath, and establish our plan, NOW!
Create ONE secure & easy-to-access location within the home that contains the following, but not limited to:
- Carrier – This will create a safe, secure home for your animal. Depending on the size of your animal will determine if the carrier is set up in advance.
- Leash – Especially for pets that live within the home, even if the pet is not used to being on a leash, having a leash is critical. Keep in mind, you may have to evacuate. No one wants to leave their pet in a carrier for an unknown period of time.
- Animal “Go Folder”: All documentation must be in a water-resistant container/package.
- Vaccination records: up-to-date; most current
- Recent photo – preferably with you
- Medication: Obtain at least a 72 hour supply of the pet’s current medication, as well as printed documentation of all medications the pet currently takes. Of course, the medication and the list of medication must be in a water-resistant container/package.
- Water & food bowls
For our family, this one secure, easy-to-access location is in our garage. The area is not obstructed or difficult to get to. If electricity was out, my husband or I can navigate the area easily.
Keep in mind, although none of us want to imagine, there is a possibility we may be separated from our pets. If there is a need to evacuate, many evacuation sites establish separate pet shelters specific to various animals. Any information we can provide volunteers, and disaster recovery workers will be critical.
How can a professional organizer assist you?
Working along with a professional organizer to prepare for disasters provides you with the following benefits:
- finds the items needed /desired
- establishes easy-to-access designated homes
- assists you in creating your disaster plans
Hiring a professional organizer eliminates the emotional attachment and provides the relief you desire. For a listing of professional organizers in your area, you can turn to the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO).
You can do this! Unclutter Me is here to assist you.
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