Now is the time to start a buddy system with a trusted neighbor, so you can check on each other’s animals in the event there is an evacuation and either one of you are not home. Some disasters happen with little to no warning, and if you are away from home at the time, it could be days or weeks before you will be able to reach your home and your animals. Often times, phones are not working, so being able to call someone to ask them to check on your animals may not be a possibility. To prevent a possible tragedy from occurring, here are some things you can do now:
- Start by choosing who your human buddy will be.
- If your designated buddy is not already well acquainted with your animals, introduce them now and have them spend time together occasionally to build trust.
- Let your buddy know where your animals normally are when you are not at home, but keep in mind, they may be hiding because they will undoubtedly be scared.
- Either give your buddy an extra key or hide one on your property so they can get access to your animals that are in locked areas.
- Keep essential evacuation supplies in one location where the neighbor can find them. This would include such things as leashes, collars, lead ropes, halters or crates.
- Exchange veterinarian information in case your animal is injured.
- Designate several meeting locations outside potential evacuation areas. Remember telephones may not be working so contacting them by phone may not be possible.
- Discuss what the plan is, in a worst case scenario and an animal cannot be evacuated. An extremely frightened animal may not be willing to cooperate and continuing to try and catch them, can put your buddy’s life in danger, especially if a fire is getting closer or flood waters are still rising.
Taking the time to go through these steps could mean the difference between life and death for your animal. So, don’t delay, work on your buddy plan today! Your animals are counting on you.