If you are concerned what might happen to your pets during an emergency evacuation, plan and add details about your pets to your Smart911 Safety Profile.
This year - 2017 - has seen more declared disasters requiring emergency evacuation than in most recent years according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Although the disasters have not been on the scale of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, their number has resulted in many citizens - and their pets - being displaced from their homes for long periods of time.
But what happens to pets during an emergency evacuation? Other than service animals, pets are not allowed inside most evacuation shelters during an emergency; and the few pet-friendly shelters designed to accommodate household pets require pre-registration, proof of residency within the evacuation zone, and the current medical and vaccination records for each pet.
What If You Have Not Pre-Registered Your Pet?
If you have not pre-registered with an emergency evacuation shelter, it is unlikely your pet will be allowed into the shelter. Most shelters have limited resources and limited spaces for animals. Even if space exists, you may not qualify for one if you have not brought your pet´s current medical and vaccination records - something you might easily forget in an emergency evacuation situation.
However, there is a solution - adding details about your pets to your Smart911 Safety Profile. If first responders are aware there are pets in your household, it may be possible to remove your pets from the risk of danger and take them to a safe place of refuge while the emergency persists. Although you may not be able to stay with them, it is a better solution than leaving them behind.
How to Add Your Pets to Your Smart911 Safety Profile
Smart911 Safety Profiles can be accessed by 911 call takers whenever you call to report an emergency. The Safety Profile consists of whatever details you wish to share with 911 call takers. Most people include information such as their blood type, hair color, weight, age and medical condition, details of any medication they are taking or mobility issues they have, and upload a photo of themselves.
One section of the Safety Profile relates to household information - for example the people you share a house with and their mobile phone numbers. If the people you share a house with also have Smart911 Safety Profiles, their details can be accessed from yours. It is in this section, you should add details about your pets - including photos, breeds, distinguishing features and behavioral problems.
By adding details about your pets to your Smart911 Safety Profile, first responders will be better prepared to help your pets during an emergency evacuation, and emergency management services will be better prepared to accommodate them. It is still preferable you pre-registered with an emergency evacuation shelter for your peace of mind, but there is at least an alternative option if you don´t.
Other Benefits of Adding Your Pet to Your Smart911 Safety Profile
There are many additional benefits of adding your pet to your Smart911 Safety Profile in addition to safeguarding the wellbeing of your pets during an emergency evacuation. If your home were to catch fire, first responders would be aware to rescue your pet from the flames. If you were injured in the fire, emergency management services could arrange for the pet to be cared for while you recover.
If your child were to go missing while walking your pet dog, first responders would be able to identify the dog from your Smart911 Safety Profile in order to place the last known location of your child. Similarly - although not an emergency - if your pet were to go missing or be stolen, police could have its details forwarded to them from your Smart911 safety profile in order to assist with the search.
If you do not yet have a Smart911 Safety Profile, it is free to sign up for the service and create your profile. Simply visit www.Smart911.com, click on any “Sign Up” button and enter a few details about yourself. Once your basic profile has been created, you can then add to it with all the information required to safeguard the wellbeing of your pets during an emergency evacuation.