Gimme Shelter

When the rains came, Noah was ready, riding out the Flood with his floating zoo. But if a weather-related or other emergency puts your home in jeopardy, will your cherished pets survive? Some pre-planning could make all the difference. * Identification: Your pet should always wear a tag with your name and phone number; add the number of a friend in another area who can be contacted in case you can’t be reached.

Has your pet been “chipped?” A tiny microchip inserted under the skin can be read by scanner in a vet’s office or animal shelter and the animal’s identity and ownership determined.

Keep a plastic-covered photo of your pet where you can access it in an emergency. Include a copy of up-to-date vaccination certificates and a list of boarding facilities or hotels that will accept pets in case you can’t bring them to a shelter.

Emergency kit: A transport kennel keeps your pet out of harm’s way and may be its ticket into the shelter where you’re temporarily housed. Bring a leash; a harness for your cat. Frightened animals want to escape unfamiliar surroundings.

Have a three-day supply of food and bottled water on hand, along with bowls and a can opener. A cat will nd a litter box and kitty litter.

Put together a basic first aid kit including antiseptic, bandages, eyewash, tweezers, cotton swabs. A book on pet first aid could be very useful.

If you must leave your pet at home: Although your pet is probably better off with you, circumstances may force you to leave it at home. It will be safer inside, away from windows. If there is danger of flooding, leave the animal in an upper room. A tiled area such as a bathroom can be cleaned more easily following your pet’s incarceration than can carpeting.

Stressed out animals may harm one another, so it’s probably better to confine each pet in separate areas.

Leave plenty of food and water (in spill proof bowls). Fasten a notice on your door detailing the pets inside, when you had to leave them and where you can be located.

Livestock: Can your farm function without electricity? Have you developed a plan to move livestock quickly and safely in the face of flood or fire? If your answer is no to these questions, now is the time to act — before your valuable animals suffer unduly from lack of water, inadequate milking or serious injury.

Ask local farm organizations, equestrian clubs or area agricultural representatives if they have strategies to handle emergencies. Develop a plan with neighbours to share a generator or deliver water; create a local organization to evacuate livestock if danger threatens.