Warnings and Alerts- What to Do

A WARNING OR ALERT HAS BEEN ISSUED, WHAT DO YOU DO?

PHASE 2: ALERT

If a warning or alert has been issued, get everything ready to go in case it is upgraded to a evacuation. If there is a severe storm watch before you leave for work, contact a neighbour or someone trusted with access to your home to grab your pets in case you can’t get back in time. If you are home, be prepared to leave at a moments notice,( that means keeping the cat confined in advance so it can’t hide on you! )  Know of places where you and your pet will be welcome.

 

NEVER leave animals in crates or tethered outside. If they must be confined a bathroom on the upper level is the best option.

For all emergencies and disasters:  Identify all pets with ID and Microchip.   If emergencies are scary for us – imagine how overwhelming they are for pets!  In the case that your pet does run away out of fear, making sure their collar has a  current address and phone number is the best first step in finding them and bringing them back to you. Microchip your pets and keep the information up to date.  Know your animal’s identifiers: tattoo, microchip, tags and collar color. Have a picture on hand (most pet owners have at least one pet on their cell phones)

Below are tips for how to prepare your animals during different natural disasters ( sourced from Red Rover.org):

Floods:

Families threatened by flooding are encouraged to:

  1. DO NOT LEAVE ANIMALS IN CAGES, BASEMENTS OR TETHERED IN FLOODS!
  2. Bring pets along when they evacuate. Never leave pets behind to fend for themselves in a flood.
  3. Identify a place ahead of time to evacuate with pets. Many hotels and motels are pet-friendly, and those that aren’t often make exceptions during natural disasters. You can find listings of pet-friendly accommodations at http://www.petfriendly.ca  or www.bringfido.com
  4. Identify all pets with ID and Microchip. Affix a collar with ID tag containing mobile phone number to each pet so they can be more easily reunited if lost. Keep the microchip registration up-to-date and include at least one emergency number of a friend or relative who lives out of your immediate area.
  5. Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier for each pet and photos of each animal with family members to prove ownership if they are lost.
  6. Larger Animals: Move larger animals to higher grounds or different fields if possible. Store Food in High and Dry Places

Fires:

What happens in the event of a fire?  The effects of a fire – whether caused by natural or human factors – can be devastating, and animals are especially vulnerable. While we can’t always prevent the unexpected, we can take steps to create a disaster plan that includes pets.

Since the only way to minimize damage in the wake of a fire is to prepare,

Have a safety plan

  1. Include your animals in your family’s disaster plan. If you have multiple pets, assign each family member responsibility of an individual animal.
  2. Display a pet rescue sticker. The first thing that firefighters will see is your front or back door, and depending on whether you’re home when a fire happens, the firefighters may not have any way of knowing that there are pets inside. An easy and cheap preventative measure is to use pet rescue stickers that alert rescue personnel that there are animals in the home. You can attach these stickers to a visible window or the front door.
  3. Keep your pet carrier handy. If you are home when an emergency occurs, make sure you know where your pet carrier is located so that you can evacuate quickly. This will be crucial to transport your pet safely, especially when fire trucks or ambulances arrive and pets may become alarmed by the noise and volume of activity that will likely surround them.
  4. Have a petbag that includes things such as medications, leashes, food, water and bowls. Add items as you see fit, such as: a can opener for canned food, a current picture of your pet in case they get lost, toys and a bed, plastic bags for pet waste.
  5. Identify all pets with ID and Microchip. Affix a collar with ID tag containing mobile phone number to each pet so they can be more easily reunited if lost. Keep the microchip registration up-to-date and include at least one emergency number of a friend or relative who lives out of your immediate area.

Preventative measures are the best care!

  • Make sure candles are blown out when you leave the room
  • Make sure stove knobs are locked, to avoid any chance of pets brushing up against knobs and turning on the stove
  • Check for frayed wires
  • Turn off and unplug any beauty supplies or unnecessary appliances/ devices.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand

Tornadoes:

For pet owners who live in tornado-prone areas:

  1. Identify all pets with an ID tag and microchip. This is the single best way to make sure you are reunited with your pets if you are separated. Be sure the collar is secure, the tag is legible and your contact information is current. Include a secondary contact on the tag in case you lose telephone service. Keep the microchip registration up-to-date and include at least one emergency number of a friend or relative who lives out of your immediate area. Microchipping is essential since collars often come loose during powerful storms.
  2. Keep small animals like dogs and cats indoors. This will better protect them if a tornado strikes suddenly and make it easier for you to round them up if you have to move to a safe location.
  3. Practice bringing your animals to your “tornado safety” location. Animals often become frightened and hide during extreme weather. Every few months, practice leashing dogs and crating cats and bringing them calmly to the basement or other location you have identified for tornado safety. This way, when the real thing happens, they will be less likely to freeze, hide or run away.
  4. Secure cats if a tornado watch is issued. When a tornado watch goes into effect, place your cats in a crate and put it in the basement, a windowless bathroom or closet, or other area you have identified for tornado safety.
  5. Move other caged animals to a safe location early. Rabbits, reptiles, rodents and other “pocket pets” can be moved to a basement or windowless room during a tornado watch, too. If you have an aquarium or terrarium that can’t be moved, put it under a table or desk or cover it with a mattress or other large, soft object.
  6. Secure horses in an outbuilding and identify them. If a tornado watch is posted, put horses in a sturdy building on your property or bring them to a pre-identified safe location. Make sure each horse is identified with halters, neck straps, or name spray-painted on his or her left side.
  7. Carry photos of your pets and give copies to loved ones outside your immediate area. If you do become separated from your pets, photos will help you create lost animal posters or post messages to Internet sites. Include photos of you with your pets, which can prove ownership.
  8. Know where to search for lost animals. When animals become lost during a disaster, they often end up at a local animal control agency or humane society. Keep handy the locations and phone numbers of the shelters in your area.

Hurricanes:

When a hurricane threatens, it is encouraged that residents to bring their pets with them when they evacuate. Animals left behind during hurricanes can get injured, fall ill, starve, drown from flooding, die, and affect human evacuation and rescue efforts.

  1. Bring pets along when they evacuate. Never leave pets behind to fend for themselves in a hurricane.
  2. Identify a place ahead of time to evacuate with pets. The best choice is to stay with friends or family outside of the impacted zone, or to make your own arrangements elsewhere. Many hotels and motels are pet-friendly, and those that aren’t often make exceptions during natural disasters. A database of pet-friendly accommodations is available at http://www.bringfido.com or www.petfriendly.ca   Emergency shelters are a last resort option. Note that many emergency shelters require pre-registration.
  3. Identify all pets. Affix a collar with ID tag containing mobile phone number or temporary contact number (such as the phone number of a hotel or relative) to each pet so they can be more easily reunited if lost.
  4. Assemble an animal disaster kit that includes food, water, medications, a leash or cat carrier for each pet and photos of each animal with family members to prove ownership if they are lost.

Earthquakes:

For pet-owners in earthquake-prone areas:

  1. Identify all pets with an ID tag and microchip. This is the single best way to make sure you are reunited with your pets if you are separated. Be sure the collar is secure, the tag is legible and your contact information is current. Include a secondary contact on the tag in case you lose telephone service. Keep the microchip registration up-to-date and include at least one emergency number of a friend or relative who lives out of your immediate area. Microchipping is essential since collars often come loose during powerful storms.
  2. Create an emergency kit for each pet.
  3. If you are home – gather your pets and stay inside. Seek shelter under a sturdy table away from windows and glass doors. Your pets will most likely find their own place to hide in the house and that is okay; wait until the shaking is over to find them and approach them carefully.
  4. If you and your pet are outdoors – go to an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines and drop to the ground until the shaking passes.
  5. If driving with your pet – be sure to pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid parking near overpasses and power lines.  Do not exit your car until the shaking is over.
  6. Create a plan for when you are not home – have a trusted neighbor (who is familiar with your pets) take them and meet you at a designated location.  Make sure to give them a key to your home and show them likely hiding places where they may find your pets, as well as where their emergency kit is kept.