Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre
Prepare for a Disaster
Do you have an emergency plan for your pets if there’s an earthquake, flood, fire, or other disaster? A big earthquake will definitely happen in Kathmandu, Nepal; the only question is when. Parts of Nepal’s Tarai region flood regularly, putting many animals at risk. Preparing for a disaster before it happens will save time, reduce confusion, and may save lives.
• Identify your pet. All your dogs and cats should wear collars with identity tags at all times. The tags should have your contact information. Consider getting your pets microchipped – a form of identification that can’t be lost or removed.
• Train your pets to come. You can do this by putting a treat in a pet carrier / dog crate and ringing a bell. Do this every day, until the animal comes running when it hears the bell. Repeat the training sometimes so your pet doesn’t forget it. If there’s a disaster, you can ring the bell to call your dog or cat.
• Make a neighborhood plan. To prepare for an emergency, make a list of your neighbors, their contact information, their pets, and their pets’ needs. Choose a neighborhood coordinator for disasters, and choose one or two back-up coordinators if that person isn’t available. Consider giving the coordinator a set of keys to your house so they can rescue your pets, if needed.
• Plan where your pets can go. If a disaster will force you to leave your home, you don’t know how far from home you will have to go or when you can go back. Make a list of houses of friends and family, hotels, vets who shelter pets, and shelters where you can go with your animals. Plan places near home and far away where you and your animals can go, as well as how you will get there.
• Make a pet first aid kit. It should have:
• Make a pet disaster kit. It may include:
• Keep up to date. Update your pet disaster plan whenever your situation changes. Check your pet first aid kit and pet disaster kit regularly to be sure the food isn’t too old and they contain everything they should.
• Know your plan. Be sure everyone in your home knows the pet emergency plan and where the supplies are. Discuss your plan regularly, so everyone remembers it.
When a disaster happens:
• Try to keep your pets with you. If you can’t, close them inside the house, but let them run freely inside the house; don’t tie them up or put them in a cage. They have a better chance of surviving if they can escape. Put a big sign in the window that says how many pets are in the house.
• Leave a lot of water in at least two different open containers that can’t be tipped over. Do the same for food. You can also leave a faucet dripping.
• Learn how to find a lost pet, in case your cat or dog gets lost.
• If you find a lost pet, call local animal shelters immediately and tell them about the animal and where you found it. If the shelters are overcrowded, it may be best if you can care for the animal until the situation improves.
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