Emergency Preparedness for Pets
When creating a disaster plan for your family - don't forget your pets. While you are away from home, confining your pet to a specific room in the house can aid rescuers in the event of a structure fire or other disaster. Place emergency stickers with the number and location of your pets in prominent places near doors and windows. Close interior doors to keep fire from spreading. If you change the location of the pets, remember to change the information on the emergency stickers.
A Pet Friendly Disaster Kit
You can put together a basic disaster kit for your pets to have ready in the event that you have to button up, or leave your residence in a hurry. Recommended items would include:
- An airline-approved carrier for each dog or cat, or other pets, with ID, photo, vaccination records, registrations, special needs list, sufficient medicines, and a muzzle/leash attached.
- An extra supply of pet food (for dogs a lower protein dog formula will produce less stool, a benefit when cooped up indoors).
- First Aid kit.
- Plenty of clean water.
- Bowls (disposable containers if you must leave your residence), can opener, kitchen trash bags, bleach (disinfectant and water purification), blankets, towels, paper towels, and other waste disposal supplies.
Following a Disaster
After a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster, take care with your pets. When you venture out, avoid downed power lines. Keep your pet on a leash to limit its exposure to debris, hazardous materials, other animals, and contaminated foods. To protect your animals, avoid leaving spoiled goods outside and tape your refrigerator shut until trash pickup resumes.
Montgomery County's Animal Response Team (CART)
The Montgomery County CART is a volunteer organization that educates the public about pet preparedness and staffs a pet shelter if necessary.
During large-scale emergencies, CART volunteers may establish and operate an emergency pet shelter in conjunction with a human shelter. In Montgomery County, pet shelters will be located as close as possible to selected human shelters. Pet owners who are staying at the human shelter must visit and care for their pet during its stay at the pet shelter.
CART is operated through the cooperation of OEMHS, the Montgomery County Police Department Animal Services Division, the American Red Cross, the Montgomery County Humane Society, and the Humane Society of the United States, among others.
For more information on CART, contact Captain Michael Wahl at Michael.Wahl@montgomerycountymd.gov.