Caring for pets after storm damage and during the flood damage restoration processes
Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers homeowners tips on ensuring that pets are cared for in a storm damage disaster or flash flood.
SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is committed to helping homeowners recover from storm damage by providing reliable, rapid flood restoration services. Often when a storm or flash flood is the cause of the damage, many homes and businesses are affected. Many of these homes also include furry cats and dogs.
According to census data, residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are avid pet lovers. “About half of all households in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area own a pet, according to recently-released data from the U.S. Census. Forty-one percent (41%) have at least one dog, and 17% have at least one cat.”
Americans spend $99 billion on pets and pet products each year. Pets are special and deserve careful attention before, during, and after a storm damage disaster. The family emergency-ready plan should also consider the needs of any family pets. Listed below are some tips to facilitate the creation of this pet emergency preparedness plan.
#1. Take steps to ensure pets are identifiable at all times and in any situation
Pets seem to have a sense of impending danger. During the chaos, the family dog or cat may flee the home in terror. The pet may wander for miles seeking relief from sensory overload and searching for a calm, quiet refuge.
Keep a collar and ID tags on the family dog, cat, and other four-legged pets. When pets and family members become separated, a microchip is a simple, inexpensive means to ensure pets are always identifiable. A collar and identification tag can be lost. A microchip is an onboard form of digital identification that requires only a swipe with a microchip reader to glean the pet’s information (name, owner’s contact information, etc.) embedded on the chip. The pet owner should keep their address, phone number, and other chip information current.
#2. Locate pet-friendly emergency shelters
Before disaster strikes, identify emergency shelters and safe escape routes to these shelters. If homeowners and their family members have pets, search for shelters that accommodate animals. Due to the public health hazards posed by animals, many shelters cannot allow pets. Create a list of kennels or animal shelters that can safely house pets until the danger has passed. Identify hotels that allow pets. If none of these options are available, identify a trusted friend or relative who lives outside the affected area and ask them to take care of the pets during the disaster cleanup and restoration process.
#3. Customize an emergency kit with supplies for each pet
Remember to include the needs of family pets when assembling an emergency supply kit. Designate one of the family members to grab the pet emergency kit and take care of the pets during the disaster. The emergency preparedness kit for the pets should include the following items:
- Food and water for at least several days
- Spare ID tags, leashes, or harnesses
- Pet carriers
- Garbage bags for clean up
- First aid items that are safe for pets, along with any medications
- Vital pet data, such as vaccination records and photographs for identification
- Pet toys
- Kitty litter
#4. Contact the ASPCA to obtain a rescue alert sticker
Attach the rescue alert stickers on or near the front door to inform rescue workers that pets may be inside the home. The pet owner may also want to include other information, such as the number and types of pets, the veterinarian’s contact information, and personal contact information. If threatening weather conditions are approaching, affix the sticker in a highly visible location near the front door. If an evacuation should be necessary, note this information on the sticker when leaving the premises.
Pets are beloved family members and need special attention during any event that disrupts the household's daily routine. Be mindful that pets may not always respond positively to first responders, rescue workers, or cleanup and restoration crews.
When storm or flood damage occurs, contact the team of cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, technicians can be on-scene in about an hour. The rapid response and quick cleanup help prevent advanced secondary damage such as mold infestation.
For more information about flood restoration services in Ovilla, TX, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian by phone at (972) 935-0827. The office can also be reached by emailing acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.