“National Preparedness Month encourages and reminds Americans to be prepared for disasters or emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. Homeowners, families, communities, and businesses can use this opportunity to find ways or help others understand more about preparing for disasters and reducing risks to health and the environment. There are many ways to reduce risks from contamination, leaks, spills, hazardous materials, and other dangers. This page doesn't include all possible ways of preparing but provides many ideas and links to more information,” explains EPA.

Because this topic is so important to protect yourself and your animals, this is a continuation of National preparedness Month. If you missed Part 1, catch up.

With today’s technological advances, we have numerous options to be able to communicate even without electrical power. See CNN’s suggestions.

CNN reports that “after Hurricane Harvey, locals and unofficial rescue crews used some lesser known tools to locate people in need. Consider installing Zello a walkie-talkie app that lets you share audio messages and photos. You can create new channels or join existing ones -- there are several already about Hurricane Florence -- to communicate with others in the area and ask for help. But the free app requires a Wi-Fi or network connection (even older networks like 2G will work). Meanwhile, FireChat is another messaging app that works without data or a signal, and instead relies on mesh networks. (But Bluetooth and W-Fi need to be turned on even if access isn't available, according to the company). Glympse is a real-time location sharing app that complements Zello and FireChat. After using the apps' messaging capabilities, Glympse users can share their exact whereabouts with rescue groups. Airbnb's Open Homes program helps those in need of shelter with people who want to list rooms or homes for free.

Homeland Security

Homeland Security has some valuable information for pets during a disaster shown below:

Get Informed

  • Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
  • Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
  • Download the FEMA app, receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.

Make a Plan

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
    • Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
    • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
    • Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
    • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
    • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
    • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
    • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
    • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
    • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

There is so much to do to be prepared for an emergency. Additional information is detailed in Part 1. Stay safe by being prepared!

If you have any questions about your pet as you are preparing for an emergency, contact a local vet that will give you peace of mind for your furry loved one.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.