This past week in Hawaii and Oregon, we have seen large wildfires break out leaving people and their pets homeless. Our field correspondent Brandon Clement followed people as they fed the cats in Hawaii in the wake of fires.
Hurricane season is ramping up and before you become impacted, make sure you have a plan for yourself, but also for your pet. Many times pets can be left behind in the chaos of evacuations or if you are unable to get home during a natural disaster, like wildfires. Here are a few things to think about during any natural disaster:
Pets can become confused and disoriented during evacuations and can sense their owners stress. Make sure you bring a few things of comfort with you if you must evacuate, like toys and a blanket.
All it takes is having a plan - have a bag or two of food along with any medications ready to go if you have to evacuate quickly. Reach out to a neighbor and let them know you have animals, if you find yourself away from home when a disaster breaks out, being able to get in contact with someone who is in the area and can take your pet is important!
Often times resources are maxed out from the influx of pets during a natural disaster - make sure your pet has proper identification with tags AND microchips so they can be returned to you quickly! Update information with your own contact but also a friend or family who is away from your geographic location if aid workers aren't able to get in contact with you.
Pets are impacted by air quality just like humans - if you are near a fire your pets will also inhale the smoke, making for difficulty breathing and potential issues with their heart and lungs. Limit time outdoors for your pet and avoid strenuous activity for them too!
If you must leave them behind, provide a safe area with access to food and water, and escape routes. Do not leave them trapped in crates or rooms. Many shelters are pet friendly - remember often times you only have to evacuate a few miles, not hundreds.
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