Earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, unrelenting summer heat. What’s next, a plague of locusts? Will the East River run red?
By now most of us along the East Coast are battening down the hatches in anticipation of Hurricane Irene’s arrival. People are evacuating to higher land, boarding up homes and stocking up on supplies. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent disasters, it’s that sometimes our pets and animals get left out of the preparations. So here are a few tips:
- Be sure when you stock up on fresh water that you include the needs of your pets. Dogs in particular can become dehydrated quickly. Also have several days of pet food stored away…though in Millie’s case, she would be happy to share our food, especially pizza.
- Remember, often emergency shelters don’t accept pets. Make a plan for sheltering your pet if it comes down to that.
- If your pet is on medications, make sure you have enough on hand for several days at least until the emergency has passed. Also, some animals, particularly some dogs, are terrified by storms. Check with your vet if there is something you can give them for short-term anxiety. Prolonged, intense stress can really take a toll on an animal, especially an older one.
- Keep them in your prayers. We’ll all be praying, but let’s not forget the animals. Pets need prayers too. Imagine how scary a hurricane must be to them.
There are a number of good websites you can check out on the subject. Here are just a few:
The National Weather Service Hurricane Center’s Pet Plan
The Humane Society’s “Disaster Planning for Pets, Family”
FEMA’s Prepare Your Pets for the Next Disaster