When a natural disaster occurs, your pet may not cry out like the cat in the photo above (and if it did, you'd probably be too shocked by your talking cat to care about the earthquake). But you'd still worry about their welfare.
These worries prompted Alex Close to create Save Your Pet Pack. Close, the owner of two cats, noticed a lack of products that seemed comprehensive enough to care for pets during an emergency, so she created her own.
"I love my animals like family, and I know that other people feel the same way about their pets," Close told TODAY.com. "The packs can be used for any type of anticipated or spontaneous disaster: earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods."
The photos of these packs in action caught our attention instantly. They look like they can be helpful and fashionable — for you and your pets!
The line, which was launched just this spring, includes sling-bags of supplies: some for people to wear, some for pets to wear. According to Close, the bags are designed to free your hands so you can grab other important things, including your pet.
"Our pets depend on us for everything. They cannot fend for themselves, so it’s up to pet parents to look out for the safety and well-being of their animals," Close said.
Wondering what else you can do to prepare for an emergency? Here are some of Close's top tips for how pet owners can plan ahead:
- Purchase a pet emergency kit. It should contain a comprehensive pet first aid kit, a three-day food and water supply, medications, a temporary collar, identifying documentation, and current vaccination records. Include a photo of you with your pet to prove ownership.
- Identification: Always have a securely fastened collar with current contact information on your animal. Microchip your pet and label all carriers with up-to-date personal and veterinary information.
- Practice home escape-drills twice a year using two different exits, and don’t forget to include your pets.
- Transportation: Have carriers for each animal fully assembled at all times — train your animal to be on a leash or harness or in a cage/carrier. Label carriers with your personal and veterinary information. Also include details on your temporary shelter location.
- Think about alternate housing. Find friends and neighbors who are willing to take your pets if disaster strikes. Find pet-friendly places to stay (i.e., pet-friendly hotels), including locations within a 50-mile radius in case of far-reaching evacuation. Pinpoint kennels and veterinarians in your area. Create a list and map of your local shelters.
- Use the buddy system: Exchange pet information and evacuation plans with trusted friends and neighbors. Inform them of your pet’s favorite hiding places and let them know where you keep leashes and carriers/crates. If you’re away during an emergency, they can keep your pets safe.
Learn more about the Save Your Pet Pack and find more emergency tips here.
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Lisa Granshaw is a writer and producer for TODAY.com. When she gets a pet she is definitely going to teach it to yell out the names of natural disasters.