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Taking Action, Pets and Wildfires

Updated on August 3, 2014
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Planning for a wildfire can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to imagine terrible things happening to your home and family, but you have to plan on how to deal with these situations and how to recover. It is easy to forget to plan for how to evacuate your pets, you likely assume the animals will just load up into your vehicle as you flee. This is a flawed prospect though.

Animals can become very fearful during an emergency situation, and may not always react how you plan. So it is best to have a plan to help your stressed out pet during a disaster.

The following 5 items should help you keep your pets safe during a wildfire:

Did you know evacuation shelters typically prohibit animals?

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1. Place Pets In Crates
Many pets are lost or left behind during emergencies when the animal owner is struggling to get their pet into an crate. Make sure you have enough animal crates for all your animals. Train your animals to "crate up" on command. At the first sign of trouble place your animals inside their crates. This will facilitate a quicker, safer evacuation.

2. Identify
If an emergency occurs you may not have time to safely evacuate your pets. If this is the case you need to identify how many animals, and what type, to emergency personnel. You will not be home to tell them so have a sign to place on the front door invade of an emergency.

3. Disaster Kit
You should have a disaster kit prepared for you and your family. In this disaster kit you should also have supplies for your pet. Canned food is compact and keeps well for great storage. Enough for should be prepared last about a week. Copies of your animals medical records, and vaccinations should be kept here as well. Bring extra water for your pets as well.

4. Evacuation
When an evacuation is ordered place your pets in your vehicle, grab your disaster kit, and leave the area. If you are unable to safely get your animals to your vehicle let them run loose. Open your front door, unchain outside dogs. Your animals will have a better chance for survival if they are able to run from danger themselves. Place your sign detailing your animals in this event.

5. Shelter
Red cross evacuation shelters do not accommodate pets. The reason for this is many people will be confined in a small place, and may have allergies or phobias related to animals. So you will have to look for somewhere else to stay. A friend or family member would be an ideal place to stay. If his is not feasible you may have to look into staying at a pet friendly hotel. The biggest thing to remember when evacuating with a pet is that of you are hurt you cannot save your pets. Make sure you are safe then deal with your pets. Be prepared, and this tragic event can end with you and your pets safe.

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