Disaster Preparation is Key!

Sep 06, 2021

Simpsonville is a wonderful place that I have been able to call home for almost a decade, but recently we have seen increased occurrence of extreme weather.  We had several tornadoes touch down just a few weeks ago!   Prior to going to veterinary school, I spent a lot of my free time volunteering at the local fire department as a firefighter and EMT, so disaster preparedness is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  Given the recent storms,  I’d like to share some of the things that I recommend for your pets. The main purpose of these recommendations are to 1) Stay Safe. 2) Stay Together.

·         A plan:  This sounds simple, but it’s the most important.  Together with your family, make a plan for what to do in the event of an emergency- where to meet, how to transport pets, what to bring, and where to go. This way, if communication is limited or not available, everyone will know where to go and what to do.

·         Identification: SO IMPORTANT!  All of your pets should have microchips with up to date information.  This is so affordable and the only way to permanently identify your pet. Many people have had their pets chipped, but don’t register the chip or update contact information.  Without proper information attached to the chip number, the chip is useless. Unsure if your pets are chipped or what their chip number is? Ask a staff member to scan your pet.  Unsure who company the chip is registered to or want to call to make sure your pets microchip information is up to date?  Enter the chip number in petmicrochiplookup.org search bar and it will tell you who to call.  All animals should also have identification tags on collars (but collars can be lost or removed- so they don’t substitute for a microchip!). Current rabies tags need to always be on a pet’s collar and special needs alerts like ‘diabetic’ ‘on seizure medication’ are great tags to include on a collar- automated tag machines in pet stores are an inexpensive way to make these.

·         Technology: GPS tracking devices are becoming much more common and come in many shapes and sizes depending on your needs. Consider adding an Apple AirTag, Tile, Whistle, Jiobit, or Spot Trace tracker to your dog/cat collar.  Do keep in mind that some of these need recharging/batteries replaced at different intervals so choose one that fits best with your current technology setup.

·         Transportation: You should have enough carriers to transport each pet individually at the ready.  This means if you have 4 cats, you need 4 individual carriers- pets don’t ride well together during stressful situations. Hard-sided carriers are best as these can stack on one another if needed.  Write the pet’s name and your contact information (including email address) and other emergency contacts on the outside of the carrier with permanent marker.

·         Bug out bag: Have a tote or bag packed with the essentials in case you ever need to leave in a hurry!  Have enough water, food, and important daily medication to last all of your pets at least 3 days.  Poop bags, blanket/towel, litter/small litter pan, anti-anxiety therapies like Zylkene, Feliway, Thundershirts, etc are also a great idea to pack if you have room.

·         Records: Keep a small notebook with laminated copies of rabies certificates, a list of current vaccinations, a list of important medications that the pet is on daily, and your veterinarians contact information.

Dr. Stacy Logsdon