According to Statista, 68 percent of all households in the United States own at least one pet. With pet ownership becoming more prevalent, it’s important to be prepared in case an emergency strikes. Below are three tips to keep your animals safe during an outage.
- Limit outdoor time. Power outages increase the risk of downed power lines in your area. To minimize their risk of electrocution, pets should be kept away from downed power lines and anything the lines are touching. If you see a downed power line, stay at least 25 feet away and call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy immediately to report the downed line at 800-477-5050.
- Create an emergency plan and kit.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with their name, any existing medical conditions and your name/contact information. For a more permanent form of identification, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA) recommends microchipping your pet.
- Keep a week’s worth of water, canned or dry pet food and extra bedding always on hand. Like people, extreme temperatures can put your pets at risk for fatigue, frostbite and hypothermia even if they have long/thick coats.
- Invest in a pet first-aid kit or make one yourself.
- Make an evacuation plan for you and your pets if weather gets severe. Many hotels and shelters do not accept pets so plan ahead to locate ones that do.
- Ask for help. Designate a caregiver, such as a family member or friend, who can take care of your pet when outages occur. Animals may experience stress or anxiety when they are taken out of their usual routine so it is recommended that the caregiver you designate is familiar with your pet already. You can also call 2-1-1 to locate local warming shelters which allow pets and other resources to provide relief.
For more information on how to protect your pet during outages and emergencies, visit RedCross.org/pets.