As the Northern Hemisphere enters its hurricane season, it’s a useful time to review your plans for disaster preparedness regardless of your location in the world.
In New Zealand, as our seismic activity continues to make the news, it’s important to be ready regardless of season. Things like refreshing your stored water supply, for example. And if you don’t have a bottled water supply, get one! This includes storing enough water for 3 days for you and your animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) distributed this video last year. It outlines the things you need as a pet parent and not just things for dogs. I have clients on lifestyle blocks with horses, for example. Although I don’t know much about horse care, I can certainly understand the need to have harnesses and a trailer ready for evacuation.
The video mentions how to make a temporary dog tag out of a luggage tag. This may work for larger dogs, but is impractical for small breed dogs.
What I prefer is to have an old dog registration tag in my emergency kit. It’s been covered with a blank label and I have a pen in the kit.
If we had to evacuate to a temporary location, I will write our contact details on this temporary tag.
I’m also a supporter of micro chipping, which is compulsory for dogs in New Zealand.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Did you know that the USA has an evacuation center to cater for animals?
The Georgia State Animal Facility for Emergencies Center (S.A.F.E. Center) is the nation’s first permanent evacuation center for animals. It recently opened at the Fort Valley State University. The 7,800-square-foot facility contains 105 dog cages, 84 cat cages, stalls for 30 horses plus pastures available for livestock. It can be activated at short notice in the event of an emergency.
The S.A.F.E. Center
The facility is intended to temporarily house animals rescued from large-scale abuse cases, natural disasters, terrorist attack, as well as household pets whose owners are fleeing due to emergency evacuations. The Georgia location is ideal for southern state communities that may be fleeing large hurricanes during hurricane season via the interstate highway system. The University offers the services of an on-site school of veterinary medicine.
Through fundraising, the center is equipped with oxygen masks that can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and other animals. Used for resuscitation, these masks could help during emergency surgeries as well as to help animals exposed to toxic fume releases.