This post is sponsored by Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® Initiative and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. The Island Cats are being compensated for helping promote National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
Disasters Can Strike…Anytime…Anywhere
Hey…Wally here. Y’know what scares me? If something bad happened…like if a disaster struck…and I somehow got separated from the mom and dad-guy. I don’t know what I would do! The one predictable thing about disasters is that they’re unpredictable…you never know when one may hit. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared…’specially if you have pets. Even the most prepared pet parents can lose their pets in a disaster…so you need to have a plan in place for your pets in case one ever strikes.
We’re fortunate that here on our island in the midwest, there aren’t a lot of natural disasters that can happen. Probably the one we worry about most is a tornado. A couple of years ago, a small area on our island was hit by a tornado. Luckily, our house wasn’t affected, and the damage from it wasn’t real significant…a few trees and telephone poles were uprooted and knocked down, and a couple of houses lost their roofs…but it could have been much worse.
Hill’s Disaster Relief Network
Animal shelters in particular have a tough time after a disaster strikes. Pets that become separated from their humans often end up in shelters until they can be reunited with their families. Most shelters are already struggling to make ends meet for the animals they have, so this added burden of caring for animals as a result of a disaster can really create a stressful situation for them.
Emergency workers rescuing animals after a disaster
Photo courtesy of Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc.
Did you know that Hill’s® has established the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network to help in these situations? This network, which began in 2013, is an extension of its Food, Shelter and Love® program. In the last 3 years, the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network has delivered free pet food to more than 60 different shelters and vet clinics across the country in response to 25 major disasters…like recent floods in Colorado and the damaging tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. What a HUGE help this has been to these shelters and clinics!
Be Pet Prepared
FEMA National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is May 14. If you don’t have a disaster preparedness plan in place for your pets, now is the time to do it. The mom is making sure she has a plan for us. Here are 7 tips that Hill’s recommends to ensure your pet’s safety in an emergency:
- Make sure your pet wears a collar ID tag or is microchipped and that the contact information is up-to-date.
- Have a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies that’s readily accessible in an emergency. Your Pet Go-Kit should include the following: first aid supplies and guide book; a 3-day supply of pet food in a waterproof container and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; toys and a blanket.
- Put a pet rescue decal on your front door and/or window to let first responders know there’s a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
- Pets like to hide when they’re scared. Learn your pet’s hiding spots. Finding them quickly will help you evacuate faster.
- Identify a location to take your pet if you need to evacuate. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Check for hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies or ask relatives or friends if you and your pet could stay with them, if necessary.
- Carry a recent photo of your pet should you get separated.
- If you need to evacuate, you may want to take a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
Hill’s has designed an informative checklist to help you put together your own Pet Emergency Go-Kit. Click HERE to view it and print it out so you’ll have it to refer to.
Your pets are important members of your family and you want to keep them safe and protected, right? If you aren’t pet prepared in case of a disaster, please take the time to get prepared. Let’s hope you’ll never need it…but it’s best to be prepared than not have a plan in place at all. Your pets will thank you for it.
The Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program is based on four pillars: Volunteer, Donate, Choose and Adopt. Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program has already provided over $280 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters, 365 days a year helping over 8 million pets find a new home. For more information about the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program, visit their website. You can also follow Hill’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.