Protecting the Family Pets from Storm-Related Damage
Families that are smart enough to create an evacuation plan in case of damage caused by storms know to include their pets in that plan; making sure one person is assigned to grab the pets and having leashes and carriers easily accessible to evacuate frightened pets quickly and safely. Unfortunately, sometimes storm damage happens while people are away, and the pets are home alone. Here are a few tips on protecting the family pets from emergencies caused by storms.
Prevent pets from starting house fires
Each year, more than 500,000 pets are affected by house fires, with 1,000 house fires started by pets themselves! With monsoon season, homeowners need to be more aware than ever about fire, open flames, and other damage caused by severe storms. There are a few steps homeowners can take to protect their pets. First, never leave open flames unattended, even if power goes out due to storm activity. Bushy tails can easily catch fire from a nearby candle, no matter how high up it is. If you have pets, simply stay in the room when candles are lit, or extinguish them when you leave. You can also opt for flameless candles, so you never have an open flame in your home. Be aware of loose wires that may be chewed by younger or curious pets. Pets may like to chew on wires and cords, but ensure that these items are out of reach from your pet, as they can lead to fires. During monsoons, people may quickly plug in fans or other items to fight the muggy weather, so be aware of those cords! Keep cats off of kitchen counters. Sanitary issues aside, if pets are accustomed to being on kitchen counters, they may get near a lit stove and cause a kitchen fire or get injured. The best prevention is to not allow them on countertops!
How to best protect your pets in case of fire or other storm damage
Sadly, fires and other emergencies happen and if you’re not home, it can be disastrous for pets. Here are a few tips that can help your pet survive the devastation such occurrences. First, as mentioned above, make sure there are leashes, collars, and carriers readily available if you need to get your pets out of the house quickly. Make sure your home evacuation plan includes who is responsible for the pets, and when everyone is safely outside and you’re doing a headcount, don’t forget your pets in that tally! Use monitored smoke detectors that are connected to emergency responders – Should a fire start while you are away from your home, you’ll rest assured that your pet has access to emergency response services even if no one is home to call them. Put an emergency pet sticker on the window by your front door so first responders know how many pets are in the house should they enter when you’re not home and storm damage occurs. Make sure your neighbors are aware of how many and what kind of pets you have so they can inform firefighters in your absence.