Do you have pets at home? No doubt you love them very much and are just as concerned about their safety as you would be about any other family member.
Pets can be just as at risk during emergencies as the humans that care for them. For example, this adorable, aww-worthy story appeared in the Huffington Post last September. It featured a firefighter of the department in Fresno, California rescuing a trapped, unconscious kitten from a burning building. The firefighter filmed the whole thing using a Go-Pro camera, a camera that straps to outwear and can be used to to document extreme sports or dangerous situations. Both the firefighter and the kitten emerged from the building unscathed, the Go-Pro video went viral online, and the kitten was named “Lucky.” If you’re thinking about getting a kitten like Lucky, consider the best cat litter box you need for your special kitty.
However, some pets may not be so lucky. Here is our guide on how to keep your pets safe during a fire, earthquake or other emergency.
Tips on How to Keep Pets Safe
The Humane Society recommends making a safety plan that included details on how to keep pets safe as well as humans. Having a plan in place to ensure the safety of each family member will help increase chances of survival in the event of a catastrophe.
To start, you can get official ID tags for your pets. These can be implanted under the skin and can track your pet’s location. If your pet gets trapped inside a burning building, then you’ll know exactly where she is and you can tell the firefighter where to find her. This tag is also useful for finding a lost pet if he disappears for a day or two.
You should also talk with the human family members about agreeing on a safe place to go if something happens at home. This can be the home of a trusted neighbor, a space in the backyard, or anywhere that everybody can reach safely in the event of an emergency and (ideally) has a way to call for help. Once everybody agrees on this area, make sure to tell them to take pets with them. You can easily grab a dog’s collar or strap a leash on a cat and bring them with you.
Once you’ve arrived to the safe area, don’t let your pets roam loose. The approaching fire truck and other emergency vehicles may scare them away or even hit them! Instead, keep them close by, using a leash if necessary.
Additionally, you should take steps to fireproof your house with your pets in mind. Unplug all electronics when not in use, put away all flammable materials, and install a pet door so your pets can easily leave an area if necessary. Even wires left laying around can be a problem, particularly if you have a puppy that likes to chew. You can also consider installing a home security system that will detect any sign of smoke and alert the fire department when you can’t be there.
Finally, you should also make a plan for if you cannot get home to your pet for whatever reason. Just by asking a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your pet each day if you cannot be there on time will help ensure that your furry friend is safe and happy.