Tropical Storm Florence. The Santa Rose Fires. Blizzards. Earthquakes. While we can’t control natural disasters, to some extent, we can control our response. Have you thought about what you would do if (and when) a disaster hits your neighborhood? How would it affect your pets and would you be able to care for them?
Scollar founders, Lisa Tamayo and John Kennedy, unfortunately faced a real-life example to find out. Their home is in Santa Rosa, California. When fires ravaged their city in 2017, they were forced to evacuate. This meant making a mad dash through their home to gather supplies for their cat and dog, not to mention supplies for themselves.
They were fortunate; everyone, pets included, evacuated safely and later returned to a home still standing. However, the experience taught them to be more prepared for the unexpected. They now have GO bags for everyone in their family, furballs too. These bags include essentials for surviving several days away from home.
Read on to learn how to prepare for an emergency, including how to create a GO bag for your furry family.
Get Organized – Starting Now
Let storm Florence serve as a reminder to take care of some of the basics.
- Make sure your dog tags are up to date with the latest information
- Check supplies like pet food, medications, blankets, toys, etc.
- Make sure your pet’s name is on their carrier
- Have the contact information for your vet as well as local friends and family in your phone
- Decide who you can leave your pet with if you have to evacuate
Ensuring that these details are knocked out now is one less thing to worry about later.
Also, have you microchipped your pet? More permanent forms of identification may become invaluable in a crisis. And, be sure to keep your leashes in a convenient place near a door if you’re not doing so already (you may even wish to leave extras in your vehicles).
Prepare For The Worst With A GO Bag
Very few of us do not live in a disaster-prone area. From fires and tornadoes to mudslides and heavy snowfalls, it’s critical to have a plan in case you need to make a quick getaway. Err on the pessimistic side here: plan to evacuate for a longer time than you think may be possible. And don’t forget to get everyone in your family on the same page—they all should know where the GO bags are located and what they look like.
Here’s what to put in your pet’s GO bag:
- Food for three to seven days
- Paper towels
- Blanket or towel
- Feeding dishes
- Water bowls
- Bottled water
- Plastic bags/Poop bags
The ASPCA has put together a comprehensive list of supplies – READ IT HERE.
Know Your Pet’s Location At All Times
It’s fine to have an emergency GO bag ready to make a quick getaway with, but what happens when disaster strikes and you have no clue where your cat is hiding? Or which field your dog ran off to?
In an emergency, every minute counts. And when disaster strikes and the cell towers stop working, having a tracker that still works is essential.
There are some great digital tracking systems on the market, like Whistle. Of course, we’re partial to our own. Tracking ability is at the heart of Scollar functionality; in fact, finding our pets (er, losing them!) was one of the main reasons we set out to build this company. Our smart collars tell you your pet’s location directly on your phone. And they have radios that work even when the cell towers don’t.
Take Them With You
Remember, never assume your pets will be okay if you leave them behind. If you’re evacuating, your pets need to be right out the door with you. Pets getting left behind in a disaster is utterly heart breaking; they’re vulnerable and no, they cannot defend themselves. Many pet owners leave their animals behind where they “think” they’ll be safe (like these 18 dogs that were left to face Florence themselves). It rarely ends well.
You know how scary it is to be in the middle of that disaster? It’s just as scary for your furry family. They need reassurances that everything is OK. You are their entire world.