You should have a disaster and emergency plan that includes your pets, as they are one of the most vulnerable members of the family, and rely on you to keep them safe. Here are six tips to keep your furry friends safe during a tornado.
Have your Tornado Emergency Plan Ready
When preparing for a tornado, you also need to pay attention to your pets’ safety and survival needs. Since they’re also part of your family, you should include them in your emergency and evacuation plan.
Once your plan is in place, make it a habit to practice it regularly. Hold tornado drills at your home and let members of the family help take responsibility for the pets. Be sure to train your dog to go to the shelter on command. For cats and other small animals, practice leashing them or moving them in their crates or cages to the safe room. It is essential to reduce your pet’s stress level during such times; thus, be sure to pack their toys, safety blankets, and treats every time you do the drill.
Secure Your Pet’s Identification
During a tornado, you and your beloved fur baby may get separated. Thus, it’s essential to ensure your pet has proper identification.
Apart from giving a collar and tags, microchipping your pooch can provide you and your pets the best chance of being reunited. I’m sure you don’t need to be told this but have recent photos of your pet(s) on your phone.
Pack a Pet Survival Kit
When putting together your pet’s survival pack, make sure that you have enough water and food for three to seven days. If you’re packing canned pet food, include a manual can opener. It’s also important to keep an extra gallon of water in case your pets need to be rinsed or bathed due to exposure. To save on water, pack some biodegradable wet wipes that you can use to clean dirt and grime from their sweet little paws.
Apart from food and water, be sure to pack litter boxes, scoopers, food bowls, and garbage bags. Pack leashes, muzzle if your pet needs one in distressing situations, and a harness, as well as their carriers. Their cage or crate should be large enough to allow for movement and placement of beddings, water bottles, and other special items that your pet might need.
Don’t forget treats and toys. These will help reduce their stress levels and keep them calm during a tornado.
Medication and Medical Records
Keep your pet’s vaccination records updated and have their medical records handy. Many pet-friendly evacuation areas will require owners to show their pet's vaccination and medical records.
Pet Escape Plan
Tornadoes can displace both people and animal. After a disaster, strays are taken to a humane society, animal shelter, or animal control agency. Keep the contact numbers and details of these institutions saved in your phone and survival kit so you can connect with them if your fur baby gets lost.
If you have dogs or cats, you can train them to respond to the sound of a whistle. Since your voice has its limitations and there are other natural noises around, your pet might not be able to pick up on it. Whistles won’t cause any discomfort to humans, and can effectively call the attention of your pet after a tornado.
Keep a Pet First Aid Kit Ready
After a tornado, shards of broken glass, splintered wood, and exposed nails are likely to be laying around. As a responsible pet owner, don’t let your pets wander around in the carnage. Also, be sure to have a pet first aid kit on you. When all else fails, and your bundle of fur gets injured, you can patch them up immediately.
Do you have your list of safety tips for fur babies? Share them in the comment section below!