(HOUSTON) August 26, 2021 – Now is the time to get your family, and that includes all pets, ready for a disaster by making a portable DIY Pet Disaster Kit that includes food, water, medication, printed proof of rabies and vaccination records, and portable bedding. Each pet should have a hard travel carrier that has been labeled with emergency contact information plus supplies for at least two weeks. A favorite toy or blanket will also help minimize a pet’s stress level.
Pet owners should take a selfie with their pet to prove ownership in case a lost pet is found, as well as important documents such as up-to-date vaccination history and emergency contact information in sealed, waterproof plastic bags. All dogs and cats should wear collars with ID tags, in addition to their pet’s microchip with current contact information. “You should also include the contact information of a relative or friend outside the greater Houston area in case landlines and cell phone service are not working immediately following a disaster,” said Dr. Roberta Westbrook, Chief Veterinarian at the Houston SPCA.
Finally, if you must evacuate, take your pet. If you plan to stay home, bring pets somewhere inside in case of severe flooding. If conditions are unsafe for people, they are unsafe for pets. Pet owners should identify an evacuation route and make temporary housing arrangements well before a storm hits, especially with the pandemic as emergency shelters and hotels may have limited space due to social distancing. This often means finding a boarding facility or veterinary office in the area where you will be staying.