The Bring Hanah Home movement, for example, has looked for a dog lost in the Joplin tornado for the past three years. Despite thousands of dollars in rewards and evidence that the dog survived the tornado, she is still missing.
Tornados, like the one in Joplin that took Hanah, and the ones in Oklahoma last year are difficult to manage because they appear so quickly. Hurricanes are expected, and there is usually ample time to prepare or leave the area.
Regardless the type of natural disaster, there are things we can do to prepare.
- Put together a disaster kit with basic supplies and medications. It should contain enough to get by for three days.
- For smaller cats and dogs, keep a carrier available. Put the pets in the carrier when the weather starts to look bad. It's better to have them in the carrier and not need to leave than to run around the home looking for them when disaster is on top of the house.
- Take dogs to the tornado/hurricane shelter on a regular basis. Being used to the area around and environment inside the storm shelter will lessen stress when they have to be there.
- If you have to head for the shelter and have time to bring something, favorite treats, toys, and bedding can ease the pets' stress.
- Make sure your pets wear a collar and/or harness with current tags and identifying information. If you live in an area prone to disastrous weather, it's more important than ever to have pets microchipped.
It is naturally also important to make a pet-friendly emergency plan. You don't want to make your way to a shelter just to find that pets can't enter.
~ Maria Sadowski ~