Helpful Hints Which Facilitate Planning for Natural Disaster with PetsPublished September 9, 2008
Whenever I complain about any extreme inclement weather changes, my husband dutifully responds with either of these two phrases, which have become endearing and are an excellent introduction to the topic of weather preparedness. His two favorite replies are, "Whether it is cold, or whether it is hot, we have to have weather, whether or not.", or his baseball analogy, “No matter if it is sunny, or if we have rain, we have to suit up for every game." Both of these phrases can easily remind us that for the safety and security of our pets, we need to be ready for any emergencies, which may be hurled at us by Mother Nature. Whether it is a hurricane, tornado, dangerous thunderstorm, flood or wildfire, being prepared in advance can be the key for survival, for both our pets and, of course, ourselves. Having moved to Florida from New York and being lulled into a false sense of security about the dearth of hurricanes in our area, being targeted for a major storm was something we did not expect. With two cats needing protection, thankfully we had a large cage on hand in which to secure them. There is nothing more distressing than a frightened cat, hiding under a bed, out of reach if evacuation is necessary. Fortunately, none of us was impacted seriously by the storm, but you can bet we armed ourselves for the future. Just as important as preparing a survival package for ourselves, is to make a separate one for our pets. It contains a week's supply of cat food, bottled water, cat carriers, veterinary records, toys, litter, litter box and scooper, food and water dishes, first aid kit and a familiar blanket. A list of pet-friendly shelters is now posted on the fridge as well. While pet-friendly shelters accept animals, be forewarned that many may require pet veterinary records, licenses and Rabies tags. Therefore, it is wise for pet owners to keep copies of these records handy and ready to be packed. To facilitate ease of record keeping and storage, recently several software companies have created programs, which make this task easier and affordable. Pet profiles, including vaccination records, microchip information and contact number for your veterinarian with the data the owner provides is stored on their servers for easy retrieval both online and for printing. Of course, the owner must regularly update this data. Two of these services, which I found to be user friendly and extensive, are Pet Records: http://www.petrecords.net/ and My Pet Software: http://mypetsoft.com/ For example, veterinary clinics such as The Healing Springs Animal Hospital http://www.healingspringsanimalhospital.com/index_files/About_Pet_Portals.htm are offering this service. Inquire if your veterinary clinic offers the convenient service of online record keeping. Would you consider registering with a software program that keeps veterinary records online? Leave a comment with your opinion.
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