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Disaster planning for your pets and livestock

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By: Karla Sullivan December 15, 2014 0

By Karla Sullivan

National disasters such as hurricanes, like Katrina for example, created over 4,000 animals that came through Best Friends. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for beloved pets to be lost when a disaster occurs and though many feel that they have better survival skills in the wilderness than humans, as the Human Society mentions if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them either.

The Humane Society recommends the following for your pets:

· Food and water for at least five days; bowls and a manual can opener or pop top canned pet food

· Medications and medical records stored in a water proof container

· Cat litter box and litter scoop along with garbage bags

· Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers. Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down. You may also need blankets or towels for bedding

· Current photos of you with your pets to help other identify them in case you and your pets become separated

· Pet beds and toys

· Written information concerning pets feeding schedule, medical condition and other behaviors along with the name of the veterinarian

For livestock owners, the Humane Society offers these suggestion to keep livestock safe:

· Make a disaster plan to protect your property, your facilities, and your animals. Create a list of emergency telephone numbers, including those of your employees, neighbors, veterinarian, state veterinarian, poison control, local animal shelter, animal care and control, county extension service, local agricultural schools, tailoring resources, and local volunteers

· Include a contact person outside the disaster area

· Make sure animals have durable and visible identification

If you are evacuated, not all emergency shelter accepts animals though many hotels will take animals during an emergency.

It is important to understand what your homeowners insurance provides and how that coverage applies to your pet. For dogs and animals kept as household pets, insurance that provides broader coverage for animal liability may be needed. Depending on what kind of pet you have and other circumstances, pet insurance with a separate liability policy or additional rider may be best.

If your pet does get hurt in a natural disaster, the costs of veterinary care has skyrocketed in the last 10 years. That’s when pet insurance can help you afford care especially if dealing with other crisis that can occur in the event of a fire, tornado, earthquake or flood.

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