By Ann M. Gruden
Disaster preparation is relatively simple. Here are some quick tips for all owners.
- Be ready to take your animals if possible. Pets left in a cage are helpless if the storm damages your home. They might also escape through broken windows and can easily be injured, lost or killed. If you cannot take them, plan for a “safe-zone” area to secure them, mark your home clearly for evacuation crews or entrust them with friends.
- Keep pet taxis accessible for transport. If you have more pets than pet taxis, use pillow cases with cable ties or rope for closure. Small animals can breathe though fabric. Obviously, this is a temporary measure for transport, not housing.
- Identify pet-friendly housing before you ever need it. Know your options in advance! Shelters rarely accept pets, but you probably have a Motel 6 or other pet-friendly motel/hotel in the area. Is there a nearby friend or relative that can care for your pet for a couple of days in an emergency? Or keep a list of vets or boarding facilities that will be safe and secure.
- Bring some food and water. Have a clean, empty jug you can put your pet’s “local” water in and a Ziploc bag or container to keep food dry.
- Pack a small “pet suitcase” of extra litter, newspapers, paper towels and bedding.
- Bring any medication. If your animal is on medication, make sure you have enough on hand and bring it with you.
- Special needs? For those ferrets who need gruel, duck soup or any special diet, keep a Thermos where you can store a day’s supply if your power goes out.
There are wonderful resources on the internet with tips and recommendations on emergency preparations. Depending on your area and the types of disasters you may face, there are now more recommendations for pets being offered. Most, however, focus on dogs and cats. Ferrets and other small animals are usually not considered. So you will have to adapt the advice to your situation.
See also: Emergency Preparations – Scouts aren’t the only ones who need to be prepared. This article explains why it is important to have a notebook with your ferret’s information handy in case of emergency.