If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared for situations that we might not be expecting. Part of making emergency preparedness plans also include making sure our feline friends are purr-pared! Get your checklist ready and pack a bag - here are things you need to consider while preparing to be prepared!
House Fire: On average, about 358,300 house and structure fires occur in the United States. In a house fire incident, time is of the essence to making sure you and your cat get out unharmed. In fire situations, cats will typically turn to their natural instincts to get away by any means necessary. If you experience a fire and need to get out quickly, having a conveniently placed go bag and carrier can be very helpful. In extreme situations, a cat placed in a pillowcase can be frightening, but helpful in getting out. Know where your cat hides and be sure to have a window sticker with the number of pets inside to assist rescue teams. To learn more about cats and fires, check out our Fire Safety Blog.
Natural Disaster: The most common natural disasters in the Midwest come in forms of snow and ice storms in the winter and heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes in the spring and summer. Regardless of the disaster, it is essential to have an idea of how you and your cat will cope with sheltering in place or evacuation scenarios:
Snow/Ice Storm: During the winter months, Minnesota is notorious for heavy snows and cold snaps that can last for days and even weeks. In the event of a snow or ice storm, it is imperative to think about how you and your cat will keep warm and to ensure you have enough food and water to make it through a few days. We commonly suggest keeping at least 7-14 days of food, water, and medication for your cat on hand. While our state and citizens are generally well prepared to handle these events, storms can move in quickly and leave the under-prepared vulnerable.
Tornado/Extreme Storm: With our fair share of extreme storms and tornadoes, there is no doubt that you should be prepared for these situations. Tornadoes are fast moving and can come with little warning, so it is necessary have a plan in place of where you will seek shelter should one appear. With that in mind, it is a good idea to put your cat into a hard carrier and bring them into the shelter room with you. Hard carriers can help protect your cat should the structure begin to deteriorate and collapse. Your cat will naturally be stressed out, just like you, and they could try to get away if you do not have them properly contained inside of a carrier. If your cat likes to explore the great outdoors, it is a good idea to watch the weather carefully during the spring and summer for any signs of impending storms. At the first sign, entice your cat back indoors and monitor the weather closely, only allowing them to return outdoors once again once the storm has passed and there is no immediate threat of another.
Health Emergency: In early 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19, we began to consider a new situation that we might have to contend with. As lock-down measures began to tighten, a lot of pet owners were concerned about supplies for their pets. As a result, we saw a sharp uptick in early medication and prescription diet refills. Because we have all have shared the reality of a long-term shelter-in-place order, many people are beginning to understand the value of an emergency supply kit for their pets. This handy checklist will help you to make sure that you and your cat are ready for whatever situation arises:
While we hope that you and your cat never need to put your disaster plan into action, being prepared will make it easier to navigate an already stressful situation. If you have any questions about making sure you are prepared for an emergency with your cat, give us a call!