Wildfires are scary. They are something that we constantly have to keep on our minds every summer in Central Oregon. At the moment, dry conditions and winds have caused extreme fire danger throughout the entire state of Oregon. Many of us have friends and family that have been forced to evacuate their homes with little notice due to a fast-moving wildfire in their area.
Being prepared is of the utmost importance. If you are in an area at high-risk for wildfires, it is advised to plan ahead! Have important documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.) set aside for easy access. Prescription medications, contact information for friends and family, personal electronics and chargers, and photo albums or cherished possessions packed and easy to grab with a moment’s notice. Making sure the essentials are readily available is crucial, but it is also important to make sure you have a plan if an evacuation is necessary. Have a discussion with your family about where you will go if you are displaced. Be sure your vehicle’s gas tank is full and you have enough supplies to last a few days.
During times of high stress (like preparing for a possible fire evacuation), it is important to remember to make preparations for your pet as well!
Be sure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar with an ID tag. Microchip information should be up to date with the most current contact information. Recent photos of your pet should be accessible in case you are separated.
- Medication and supplements
- If your pet takes daily medications or supplements, make sure you have a minimum of seven days’ worth packed and ready.
- Secure carriers and leashes
- Having a crate or secure carrier is important. If your pet is small (cat, reptile, pocket pet, or bird), it is recommended to transport them in a carrier for their protection. Having the carrier set out for cats to acclimate to is a great idea as well (many people find a place in their home for it to permanently reside). This will help ensure they do not seek a hiding place if you are forced to quickly leave your home
- Making sure your dog has a secure collar and leash is imperative.
- Food and water
- The ASPCA recommends packing three to seven days’ worth of food per pet. Fresh water should be easily accessible (a seven-day supply per pet is recommended).
- Veterinary Contact information
- Be sure you have your veterinary clinic’s contact information readily accessible in case you need to see immediate veterinary care.
- Miscellaneous items
- Bedding, towels, cage liners, litter boxes, toys, food and water bowls, enrichment activities, and a pet first aid kit are other items to consider preparing for a potential evacuation.