Pets in Disasters

By on 7 November, 2012 in Carole King, Pets with 0 Comments

Photo by Boccaccio1

Although we don’t think a disaster would ever happen to us, neither did those folks in Tuscaloosa last year and, most  recently, those living in New Jersey and New York. Our biggest threat here in Midtown Montgomery would probably be a tornado, hurricane, flooding or a personal house fire. If you’re a fan of Rich Thomas at WSFA , like I am, we’ll have a warning on incoming bad weather. Whenever I hear the weather warning sirens sound off, I put collars and leashes on my pets for the duration of the warning, just in case! As responsible pet owners we can always plan way ahead for the unexpected.

A new local group called That Animal Group prepared these tips for protecting ours pets for a potential disaster, natural or human-caused. Prepare now so you can act quickly if there is an emergency and you have to evacuate your home but please don’t leave your pet behind.

  • Bring your pets inside immediately (assuming it’s bad weather.)Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bring them insides early to avoid them running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency may cause them to act irrationally.
  • Have an identification tag on your animals with your cell phone on it.
  • If you have to leave town after a disaster, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  • In the first few days after a disaster, leash your pets when they go outside and always remain close by. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Following a flood be sure to watch for snakes or other animals that may be misplaced.
  • Be cautious of downed power lines.

Items you should have stockpiled or packed

  • Pet food for at least five days
  • Bottle water for at least five days. Tap water in plastic jugs would work.
  • Cat litter/pan and litter scoop, if applicable
  • Food dishes/water bowls
  • First aid kit and pet first-aid book
  • Manual can opener
  • Medications, in waterproof container
  • Newspapers, puppy pads and garbage bags
  • Leashes, harnesses and carriers, for safe transporting if you have to leave
  • Blankets or towels for bedding and warmth
  • Current photo of your pet to help others identify him in case you become separated

Things to Remember

  • Make sure your pet’s identification tag is current with your cell phone number on it.
  • Update your pet’s immunization records and have a copy.
  • Make a list of your pet’s medications.
  • Get a flashing collar or ID tag to see your pet in the dark.
  • Get a safety harness and leashes and maybe a muzzle if your animal is anxious.
  • Designate an out-of-state and a local friend or relative as contacts. A contact can be used by family members or others to call if you are separated from each other.
  • Place “Rescue Pets” decals on your windows or doors to alert rescue teams to save pets inside the house. These are available at all pet stores or just use a 3 x 5 in a front window.

Hopefully, none of us will ever have to use these hints but it’s always best to be prepared.  For more details, check out or for more helpful suggestions to all our pets safe.

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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