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photo by Columbus Division of Fire

photo by Bill Britt
Plan Ahead for your Pets

during an emergency you have to act fast, and often cannot think of everything. Your pets are an important member of the family, and should always be considered in any emergency plans. Have a plan in case you ever have to evacuate do to a wildfire, store, or hazardous emergency, and certainly take your pets with you and do not leave them behind to fend for themselves. Make sure you have a carrier for each pet, and quick access to some food to take.

Below are some basic tips that are all things to consider now, and not wait until an emergency happens.


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photo by City of St Marys Fire Department

photo by Colin Yost
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Fire Safety & Emergency Preparedness   Tips for your Pets
Extinguish Open Flames

NEVER leave pets around an open flame candle, open fireplace, fire pit, or wood stove. Pets are curious, and can injure themselves or even start a fire if left around these items. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
Use Flameless Candles

These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
Smoke Alarms

make sure you have working smoke and or CO detectors installed on every floor of the occupied structure.

1) Test the alarm monthly.
2) Replace the batteries at least once every year.
3) Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.
When Cooking

Keep your pets out of the area when cooking. Teach your animals NOT to jump on stoves or counters even when appliances are not being used. This will help keep them away from stoves, grills, pans and other items that could be hot.

Knob covers can be purchased for your stove that can prevent your pet from accidentally turning on your stove.
Secure Young Pets

keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Help Firefighters Find Your Pets

Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them, or better yet in a crate.
Put a Decal on your Door or Window

Put a decal on all exterior entrances that indicates pets may be in the home. This is no guarantee that firefighters will search for or find your pets, but it is certainly better than nothing and many firefighters will do everything they can to try and save your pets if possible. So use a decal, and a reflective decal would be even better.
Create a Safer House for your Pets

Keep hazards away from pet paws and jaws. Try and hide flammable liquids or poisons, and keep electrical cords hidden or out of reach if possible.
Have a Plan

Have a plan for where to take your pet in case of an emergency at your home. Keep transport cages readily available in case you have to evacuate your home due to fire or weather.

Make sure and notify friends or family if your pets have to be left home alone when you travel. Have a key fob on your key ring and an emergency contact card in your wallet so that someone can care for your pets if you become sick or injured.
Prepare an Emergency Kit

Assemble an emergency kit for your pets that includes enough supplies to last for several days. Include: medications and a copy of vaccination records, leashes and collar, a current photo (in case your pet becomes lost), water and food container, litter box with litter, toys, emergency contact list, food and water.
Don' Use Cheap Flea & Tick Meds

The flea meds you put on your pets can cost them their lives! You get what you pay for, and those cheap meds have proven over and over to be deadly. Buy a good vet recommended flea & tick medicine or use nothing please. A quick internet search will reveal the brand names of the product that you should NOT use because they have made aniamls get very sick or die in the past.
Don't Forget your Pets during Evacuation

In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too.

The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act (PETS) was a bi-partisan initiative in the United States House of Representatives to require states seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance to accommodate pets and service animals in their plans for evacuating residents facing disasters.
Take Photos of your Pets

Make sure and keep digital records and/or pictures to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated.
Plan for the Safest Place in your Home

In the event of a severe storm or tornado warning, know in advance where to go in your home to keep safe and try and get your pets to follow you. Keep some treats, or laser toy in your basement or interior bathroom to help lure your pets to come to where it is safe and then shut the door. If you do not have a basement or storm shelter then go to an interior bathroom or closet and protect yourself from flying debris with a mattress or clothing.
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