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BEACON Senior News

Creatures and catastrophes don’t mix!

May 19, 2023 01:26PM ● By Marit Benson

While not as convivial as International Corgi Day (June 4) nor romantic like National Pet Wedding Week (it’s June 12-16), a month dedicated to the awareness of keeping our furry (and feathery and scaly) family members safe during a catastrophe is all about some serious big love. 

We Coloradans certainly have our share of natural disasters. Wildfires, storms, winds and floods happen throughout the year and frequently catch us off-guard. And, despite even the best safety protocols, houses can catch fire. Implementing plans to help navigate these emergencies today can save us from chaos and heartache tonight or tomorrow. 

Boldly stated on the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s disaster preparedness page is, “it’s not a matter of if, but when.” I know—thinking about that makes me queasy, too. 

These three websites are indispensable for pet owners:

• (Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region)

• (City of Colorado Springs)

• (Red Cross)

Each one has details—and checklists—needed to help with the process of preparation. They also provide crucial information about what to do during an emergency and what to expect in the aftermath. 

To help you prepare, here are four important considerations to remember before disaster strikes:

1. Identification. Make sure the information on your pet’s tag, collar or microchip is current. Phone numbers and names on tags should be legible.

2. A place to go. If you and your pet need to evacuate, family or friends might be able to temporarily accommodate you. Animal shelters, boarding facilities or veterinary hospitals may have space. Keep a list of pet-friendly motels and their numbers handy, too. Plan with neighbors or friends to evacuate your pet if you are unable to do so. 

3. A “go-kit”. Include the following for your pet:

• Medication, written prescriptions and medical records

• Food and water (and bowls) to last three days and a can opener, if needed

• Your veterinarian’s name and number

• A current photo of your pet for identification purposes

• A leash and a collar or harness

• A familiar toy or item, to help with your pet’s stress

4. No pet left behind. Never, ever leave your pet behind in an emergency. 

With plans in place, you can breathe a little easier about facing the unexpected. Now you and your four-legged friend can both let your hair down—and celebrate National Dog Party Day on June 21! 

Send your questions to Marti in care of Life After 50, or email her at [email protected]