Last week I went to the public library to scope it out and get my library card. When I was leaving, I stopped at the community bulletin board hoping to find a book club or something to join. Instead, they had a stack of “Terrebonne Parish Emergency Preparedness” guides published by Homeland Security. I grabbed a copy.
This is something that’s been on my mind since we decided to move here. Hurricanes make me very nervous. So I was excited to have a practical guide – plus checklist – to put a plan in place.
And, okay, it is practical. It has a map of the evacuation routes, and it goes over some what-to-dos in case of injury, fire, and so on. I put together a shopping list so we can make our little hurricane kit, and I have a few tasks on my list (like, photocopying personal documents) to take care of.
But when I got to the checklist, I was disheartened to see this next to a check box: “When leaving pets behind, make sure there is an adequate supply of food and water.”
I know, for instance, that FEMA shelters do not allow pets. That’s a big problem. I also know that many people choose not to evacuate because they don’t want to leave their pets behind. That’s another big problem.
But I also know that there is not a single circumstance I can imagine that would make me leave my animals behind. And this is the part that makes me crazy: Hurricanes don’t just crop up out of nowhere (like, it seems, tornadoes do). There are usually days of warning. So part of our evacuation plan includes, you know, evacuating! When the notice first gets posted, we’re leaving just so that we can get out of dodge WITH all four animals.
Anyway, for anyone else who wants to prepare for leaving WITH their animals instead of following the FEMA guidelines of leaving them with food and water, I put together a little emergency preparedness for pets checklist that I’m using in my preparations.
Download my Emergency Preparedness for Pets checklist.
This is a flexible document, so I’d love to hear from you. How do you prepare for your pets in case of emergency? Anything on the list that I missed? Have you experienced an evacuation with your pets?