For families and professionals who make their living while residing overseas pets are often more than just companions. They are members of your household and close friends during your international adventures. Just like preparing for handling personal emergencies, it is essential to think about pet emergencies and having measures in place for their care. Since veterinary and kenneling services vary widely around the world, most expat pet owners become proficient in basic medical care along with the numerous challenges for transporting a pet internationally.
Shelter in place or evacuate?
As a pet owner, one of the hardest things to face in a crisis is the reality that your pets might not be able to go with you during an evacuation. Be sure to consider what steps you will have to take if you need to leave your pet behind. If you are overseas you might be able to identify local kenneling services or have someone serve as a “pet sitter” for the duration of your evacuation. When you arrive at a new location, take some time to think about who can care for your pet(s) in an emergency.
If you are overseas and need to think about remaining at home during an emergency (i.e., sheltering in place), you had better have a plan to care for your pet and meet all of their basic, and specialized, needs.
Have a Pet Readiness Plan!
A plan to take care of your pet (or pets) doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with the basics:
Have enough supplies on hand for at least 72 hours. If you have dogs, consider crate training as a way to be prepared for any extended travel or sheltering in one location. For other pets who might not be as comfortable being confined in a carrier (cats, for example), try to find a dedicated, but enclosed, space where the pet can feel safe.
Act Now! You can get started today with some tips from Ready.gov in their Pets Brochure.