Reuniting With Your Pet After a Natural Disaster

No matter where you live, natural disasters can strike.

Earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes can hit with little or no warning. Hurricanes and wildfires can move swiftly and change paths unexpectedly. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you should have an evacuation plan for all your family members, including the furry ones, already in place. If you don’t, these articles can help you create one:

Yet, despite the best plans in the world, unexpected things can happen that separate you from your pets. You might be away from the house when an area is evacuated and unable to get back home to get your pets. Strong winds, changes in air pressure, or high heat can break windows, and a terrified pet can flee before you can even react. Despite everyone’s best efforts, pets can be separated from their loving families.

Here are things you can do that will help reunite you with your lost pet should you become separated.

Microchip Your Pet

If you haven’t already, get your animal microchipped and fill out all emergency contact information. A tag can come off a collar or the whole collar might be lost. Even if your pet is found with collar and tag, your phone might not be working. Shelters know immediately that chipped animals have families. The additional information provided when you chip your pet can help rescuers locate you quickly when they find your pet.

Keep a Current Photo of Your Pet With You

Routinely take a current photo of your pet and keep it with you. Never mind if your pet has a few extra pounds or is turning gray: the photo needs to look like your pet looks today.

Contact Local Animal Shelters

Contact all animal shelters in your area. If there are any emergency shelters set up, the local shelters should know. They can also let you know how to contact any animal rescue organizations that are housing animals.

Use Social Media

If you can access a computer, post a picture of your animal on social media. Check Facebook for disaster related animal rescue pages. Peruse the found animals. Post your lost animal to the site if you are allowed to.

Keep Your Contact Information Up-To-Date

If your house has been destroyed, you may need to move several times before you’re settled for any length of time. Make sure that any shelters, organizations, and websites that are on the lookout for your pet have your current contact information.

Don’t Give Up Hope

Flood waters take time to recede; fire damage needs time to cool; wind damage from tornadoes or hurricanes can block roads, and clean-up can be lengthy. Your furry friend will likely be panicky and traumatized. Your normally friendly pet may be terrified of strangers. Your pet may choose to hide, or might be injured. Be patient and give rescuers a chance to find your pet.

The loss of your home can be devastating, and the loss of a beloved furry family member can be tragic. But remember, pets are often remarkably resilient and can survive incredible odds. Remember that your pet is just as anxious to be reunited with you as you are with him.

No one wants to be involved in a natural disaster. Develop a good working plan to evacuate with all your family members, including the furry ones, if you have warning. Have a plan to help you find all family members afterward, should you be separated. Hopefully, you will never have to implement either plan.

Meet the Author: Pam Hair

Pam Hair is a pet industry copywriter with Fuzzy Friends Writer, where she combines her three passions: a love of animals, a strong desire to help other people, and the joy of writing. She has been a pet parent over the years to dogs, cats, and a variety of rodents. Currently she and her husband share their home with two guinea pigs.

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