This year’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week for the state of Indiana is March 13-19, and the moral of the story is that preparation cannot be underestimated. (See “Safety Nets,” our story about storm shelters, in the February/March 2022 issue of Evansville Business). Although the potential for severe weather is often spotted several hours — even days — prior, the skies quickly can turn dangerous, so it’s paramount to keep yourself and loved ones ready — and that includes your four-legged family.
Cyndi Donley, humane education and volunteer coordinator for Vanderburgh Humane Society, says there are several ways to ensure your pet’s safety in case of emergency. Families should strive to be ready to leave in a pinch, which means having a carrier for each animal with enough room for them to stand up and turn around in. Donley says it’s helpful to have your pet’s emergency items already collected in a portable container or bag in case you need to leave in a hurry.
Donley recommends gathering your pet’s printed medical history and vaccination records, including information about your pet’s veterinarian and behavioral tendencies. A kit is not complete without your pet’s medications, food or medicine schedules, and an up-to-date photo.
A pet’s emergency kit should include enough food and fresh water to last them about two weeks, Donley says. Also pack extra toys and blankets — anything that can help keep your pet comfortable in new surroundings and a stressful.
Susan Gainey Odoyo, co-founder of It Takes A Village No-Kill Rescue, recommends adding supplies to meet your pet’s daily needs. This includes a leash, collar, and waste bags for dogs, and litter and a litter box for cats.
In addition to a pet kit, Donley recommends making sure your pet is easily identifiable. Include your cell phone number, or a caretaker’s number, on your pet’s ID tag or collar, and get your pet microchipped.
“One of the best things you can do for your pets — and that includes dogs, cats, even ferrets — is to get them microchipped,” she says. “This helps us contact you if you are separated from your animal, or if we find a dead animal; we’re able to give that family closure.”