Hurricane Matthew—the major storm that roared towards the U.S. coast after ravaging Haiti—underlines the urgent need for emergency preparedness, which includes precautionary measures to keep your beloved pets safe when disasters strike.
American Humane is reminding pet owners everywhere to put together kits containing essential emergency supplies, including: enough water and nonperishable pet food for several days; an extra leash or harness; a week-long supply of any medications your pet requires, stored in a waterproof container; copies of your pet’s medical records and vaccinations; and recent photos of your pet.
Pets should always wear collars with up-to-date identification information, including a cell phone number, in case of disaster-related power outages or evacuation. American Humane also recommends microchipping your pet to increase the likelihood of reunification in the event of separation.
But above all, pet owners should follow one simple rule to keep their animal companions safe in disasters: If you evacuate, bring your pets with you.
(The writer is president and CEO of American Humane.)
Robin Ganzert, Washington, D.C.