Apartment Fire Emergency: Pet Evacuation

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Apartment Fire Emergency: Pet Evacuation

Staff Writer · Jun 21, 2010

During a fire emergency, there are proper steps to take for safe, effective pet evacuation. You can make this traumatic experience easier on yourself if you plan ahead to get your pets out quickly and safely.

Pack a Pet Survival Kit

Alongside your own survival kit, you can increase your chances of getting your pet safely out of harm’s way during a fire emergency by packing a pet survival kit as well. This kit should be kept in a bin with a handle near the door or a window so you can grab it and go. Remember, if the fire is spreading, lives are more important, so just take your pets and leave if you can’t grab the kit in time.

What to Pack in the Kit

In your pet survival kit, you should have bottles of water and a dish in which to pour it once you’re safely out of harm’s way. You should also include some cans or small packets of food and replace the food every so often if the shelf life has expired. (If you’re including cans, be sure to include a handheld can opener.) Try to pack at least one week’s worth of food.

As far as the other parts of the survival kit, you should pack:

  1. Vaccination records (to prove your pet have their rabies shot, etc., in case rescue workers have to come in contact with your pets)
  2. Small toys (to distract and calm the pets)
  3. Photos of your pets (in case you become separated and you need to put out a search for them)
  4. An extra leash (if applicable)
  5. An ID tag with your pet’s important information (ownership info, allergies, etc.)
  6. Waste removal accessories (small amount of litter, scooper, animal bedding, etc.)

Next to this kit, if you can keep your pet’s carriers, it’ll be easier for you to keep them from running away once you’ve exited the apartment. If your pet becomes injured, you can use gauze from your own survival kit to cover the wounds, but be sure you know if your type of pets can handle ointments and medicines before you give them any.

Where Your Pet Should Stay

After a fire emergency, you may not be able to return to your apartment for days or weeks—or perhaps never again. While you’re looking for a new home, you’ll need a place to stay and unwind from the stress. If the friend or family member you stay with agrees, take your pet with you. If you’re going to a hotel or motel, ask if they allow pets. If you can’t find a place that will take your pet as well as you, you can look into temporary boarding at a kennel or vet.

Saving lives during a fire emergency extends to your pets as well, but only if you can save all of the human lives first. You can increase your chances of saving the pets you love by knowing what to expect and how to make taking care of your pet easier after the evacuation.

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