Pet Advice Blog for a Service Company

Context: A research-heavy blog post catering to a service company’s clients, to foster a professional but caring image.

The best way to protect your pets from floods and other disasters is to have a plan beforehand. Use this handy checklist from the CDC to create disaster kits with enough supplies for each pet in case of evacuation, and make sure your pets are included as part of regular emergency “drills.” But floods sometimes occur without warning. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself facing a flood warning with little time to prep.

 

Before a flood:

  • Keep your pets indoors, preferably on an upper level.

Animals can often sense weather changes or approaching danger before humans realize what’s happening, and they tend to hide or flee. If you wait until the flood is almost upon you, they might not come when you call.
  • Make sure their carriers (and/or leashes) are close and ready for use.

In case of evacuation, one portable carrier for each pet is necessary. Even if they normally get along, the high stress situation and possible long hours in an enclosed space makes separating your pets a good idea.
  • Arrange their kit.

A disaster kit is a vital part of your disaster preparedness. Complete lists are available at PetSmart and the Humane Society, but the basics are:
  • At least one week’s supply of food and water in a waterproof container
  • Any necessary medicine and medical records, including proof of vaccination
  • Identification such as extra tags for their collar, a current photo, and proof of ownership
  • Litter boxes or puppy pads

If your home floods:

  • Keep their collar on.

If you and your pet get separated, up-to-date tags on their collar or harness might be the fastest way to ensure they return to you safe and sound. While microchipping is a great option, it should be used along with tags, not in their place.
  • Don’t let them drink the floodwaters.

Floodwaters are often unsanitary and can even be toxic to drink. Supply your pets with clean, fresh water to quench their thirst. If your pet has a favorite wet or soft food available, it might be best to feed them the soft foods, as the liquid in those foods will help you conserve your water supply.

 

If you evacuate:

  • Leave early so you don’t have to leave your pets behind

No pet should be left behind in a storm, but it’s a sad reality that some rescue crews and many emergency shelters aren’t equipped to take animals. Fortunately, there are many websites designated to making sure you can find a pet-friendly hotel. Check this list of pet-friendly hotels, or one of the services below:
www.pet-friendly-hotels.net/
www.petswelcome.com/
www.tripswithpets.com
  • Keep your pet on a leash or in their carrier.

Even familiar territory can look unfamiliar after a flood, which can cause pets to either run and hide or go exploring. Prevent this by keeping your pet on their leash or in their carrier.
  • If you must leave your pets behind, don’t tie or lock them up.

Leaving pets behind in a flood can be extremely dangerous, but if you must do so, don’t leave them in a carrier or tied up. Leave them shut in an upstairs room with more than enough food and water, in case you’re unable to return promptly due to unsafe conditions. Try to give them plenty of space to move upward in case flood waters encroach, and ensure some food and water will remain high and dry for them. It’s also a good idea to post notices on exterior doors of pets inside the house and inform local authorities.

 

After the flood.

  • Keep your pets leashed or in their carriers while outside.

The floodwaters might have receded, but that doesn’t mean the danger is over. Watch out for downed power lines and dangerous debris which could injure your pets. Until you’ve cleared the area, it’s best to make sure your pets are safe while outside.
  • Watch out for high ground.

During a flood, other animals such as strays, snakes, and even fire ants will seek higher ground to stay safe. Soon after a flood, you and your pet might encounter more than the usual hazards from these creatures as they seek to defend their new territory.
Disaster is by its very nature unpredictable, but proper preparation can go a long way in helping to maintain your safety and the safety of your pets.