It is important not to forget your pets when planning your 72 hour emergency kit and evacuation plan.
In light of Fire Prevention Week this month, the City of Belleville has put together toolkits and resources detailing how best to prepare for an emergency as a pet owner, as well as how to keep your pets safe, healthy, and comfortable.
The City released an information video featuring Humane Society of Hastings Prince Edward Executive Director Marilyn Lawrie, which breaks down the importance of emergency preparedness for pets. Lawrie details a list of highly recommended items to include in your pet’s emergency kit, as well as tips to keep your pet safe during an emergency or evacuation.
“Some of the items you want to have packed well in advance of having to evacuate include food and water,” Lawrie explains in the video, adding not to forget food dishes, spoons, a can opener, “or things that you’d normally use to prepare food for your pets.”
Lawrie also recommends a pet carrier, pet first aid kit, medication, health records, a litter box and litter, and toys. “Don’t forget the toys, because of course, it is very stressful when you have to evacuate, for your pets as well,” Lawrie said.
The City of Belleville provides an extensive list of recommended pet supplies on its website, including other essentials such as a leash, collar, blankets, a photo of your pet in case they go missing, and a list of local pet-friendly hotels and motels in case you need to relocate temporarily. The City recommends pet owners prepare essentials for their pets for up to 72 hours, just as is recommended for emergency kits for people.
The “Before an Emergency Toolkit” includes checklists and preventative measures, as well as explains how to identify hazards in your home. This section also includes a step-by-step guide on how to make an efficient and safe emergency escape plan, including evacuation routes, meeting places, contact and communications information and more.
“During” and “After Emergency Toolkits” provide resources and information on how to get yourself, your family, and/or your pets to safety, and how to return home when the emergency is over.
Additional resources can be found on the City of Belleville Emergency Preparedness Resources webpage.