If there is anything that can upset all us pups, it is the sound of storms! And, right now, we are in the middle of what my Lady calls storm season. In our neck of the woods, our biggest worries are about tornadoes and floods. When that ole wind goes to howlin’ and the thunder and lightening is cracklin’ – like it is doin’ right now – it sure gets scary round here. When that thunder claps, us pups ’bout jump out of our skin! Then, if it rains enough and the rivers overflow, that water starts coverin’ up the whole outside and it gets even scarier! But, I gots to tell ya, my Lady has been through a bad tornado that destroyed her home and a big path through her hometown. She learned her lesson the hard way and now when the storm warnin’s start comein’ in, she starts puttin’ our Disaster Preparedness Plan in place! She says us pups shouldn’t worry cause she has us covered in the plan too. I’ll let my Lady tell ya all about it and how you can prepare a Disaster Preparedness Plan for Pets so you can be #PetPrepared too! And by the way, when she said we were gonna tell ya ’bout it, she didn’t tell us we were gonna LITERALLY be in the middle of tornadoes and sirens on picture and post night WOOF!
This is what my Lady has to say about having a Disaster Preparedness Plan for Pets:
Disaster preparedness is something that most of us don’t think about. It’s the unfortunate “It can never happen to me” part of the human condition, I think. These, my friends are the famous last words of all of us. That’s why I was excited to talk about the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network today. Not only do they help animals in need, they also want us all to think about how important a disaster preparedness plan is for our pets.
Miss Molly is correct in saying that we were dealing with some nasty thunderstorms and heavy hitting tornadoes on the very night we wanted to show you how we prepare. How ironic is that? She is also correct in saying that I prepare. With seven furbabies depending on me, I have to have a disaster preparedness plan for pets in place AHEAD OF TIME! Waiting until the very last minute just will not work. I look around at the trusting eyes of my 4-legged family members and I know I have a big responsibility in my hands. I have to make sure that not only am I safe, but they are safe and cared for too.
Anyone that has lived through a disaster can tell you it is a whole new ballgame from just hearing about it. It is absolutely terrifying! All thinking kind of goes out the window. That is why it is so important to have a disaster plan in place beforehand. For example, if severe storms are predicted, I get out the trusty backpack and load the essentials. I include items such as any daily medications and each of the pups vet information packets, which also includes our vet’s contact information. I also include collapsible food/water bowls, a small blanket, a couple of toys, and a small first aid kit . I make sure I have my purse with money, credit cards and ID. I also make sure I have my phone, which holds pics of all my pups for identification.
In addition to the backpack full of supplies, I also gather Little Bit into her crate (little dogs are hard to keep up with in extreme circumstances) and all the big dog’s leashes. I know I should also pack a few days of food, but with seven big dogs that sometimes is an unreal expectation. Instead, I throw in a bag of jerky treats, which would hopefully hold them until I could manage food. However, I always keep a supply of bottled water on hand. We also have the phone numbers of places we can retreat to that accepts dogs if need be.
It seems like a lot of things, but I have became a master at packing a lot into a little! Just think necessary and needed. If we were ever to have to evacuate, I am satisfied that I could grab my needed items on a moments notice, load them up, along with my dogs, and go!
Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® Program
The Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program is a living, breathing example of they live out their mission statement on a daily basis and is based on four pillars: Volunteer, Donate, Choose and Adopt. The Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program has provided over $280 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters, 365 days a year helping over 8 million pets waiting for adoption and counting. They believe that all pets deserve proper, balanced nutrition.
Disaster Preparedness – A Helping Hand from Hill’s
FEMA National Pet Disaster Preparedness Day is on May 14th, so it seems like the perfect time to talk about the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network. This is a network designed specifically to meet the needs of pets when disaster strikes. It is an extension of the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program. This network is positioned to quickly provide shipments of pet food to communities which have been impacted by major disasters.
This is such an important cause, because while we see so many funds to help people, we really don’t see anything focusing on pets. In fact, over the last three years, the network has delivered free food to over 60 animal shelters and vet clinics around the country in response to 25 major incidents including floods in Colorado, fires in Idaho and Arizona, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, the Washington mudslide, and tornadoes in the central and southern regions of the United States. Three of these major incidents occurred last year, including relief after the tornado hit on Moore, Oklahoma.
The Hill’s Disaster Relief Network is committed to helping animals in need after major disasters. They’re also committed to making sure that we’re prepared in the event of an emergency. That’s why they’re stressing the importance of disaster preparedness for our pets as well as ourselves. They’ve even provided a checklist to help us all make sure that our pets are as protected as we are. Take a look:
Seven Tips to Ensure Your Pet’s Safety in an Emergency:
- Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag and that the contact information is up to date.
- Prepare a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies that is readily accessible in an emergency. Your Pet Go-Kit should include the following: first aid supplies and guide book; a 3-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.
- Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when they are frightened. Finding them quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
- Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
- If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate if possible for transport and safe-keeping.
Prepare your own Pet Emergency Go-Kit
When it comes to preparing your own Pet Emergency Go-Kit, check out this great “Can You Take Care of Your Pet in an Emergency” infographic for ideas!
Go ahead and print out the infographic by clicking on the image or click here. Then, start preparing and just check off the items as you prepare your Pet Emergency Go-Kit!
Disaster Preparedness – As Important for Our Pets as for Us
Disaster preparedness is something that we should bear in mind when it comes to our pets as well as to us. It’s easy to overlook it because our pets feel like extensions of ourselves, but remember, pets are like kids. When they get scared all bets are off. Be sure you have all aspects of disaster preparedness covered as it pertains to your pet using the checklist above. It’s a great way to ensure that your disaster preparedness plan covers all family members – both two and four legged. So, let me ask you again – are you pet prepared with a Disaster Preparedness Plan for your pets?