How to Create an Exit Strategy for Your Pets

To have an exit strategy is a prerequisite when deciding to sell your home and move. For people who live in areas where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility, it is something that must be on the brain year, even decade-round. So many homeowners have such evacuation plans for their immediate families, but very few considered what would need to be done so that the pets aren’t forgotten! Here are some steps to help you add your pets to your family’s evacuation plan.

Assign pet operation to an adult:  The crucial aspect to any emergency or non-emergency evacuation is that everybody is aware of the plan, and that includes plans involving the pets. Assigning an adult to the pets allows the other adults and children to focus on their personal role and evacuation, so when the evacuation must take place and when time is of the essence, there are no questions, uncertainty, or hesitation .

Keep GPS, maps and pet carriers close, ready, and accessible:  Should you need to make a quick exit, you must be aware of where the vital supplies are located. If your animals need cages to be moved from place to place, leave them somewhere that you can find and take them on the fly as you’re on the way out. The last thing you want is to be running around like a headless chicken in a moment when you really should be getting out.

Rehearse rehearse rehearse: If your pets are part of the evacuation plan, then they must be a part of the drills! This will give you an idea of their reaction speeds and how they may act in an emergency situation. You can’t just throw Sparky out the window! Make a plan and practice getting your pets out in a safe but timely manner.

Be prepared for separation from your pets:  No matter how often you practice your exit strategy, it is entirely feasible that your dog, cat, or other pet runs off as you focus on getting your family out of the house. If you haven’t already, consider micro-chipping or adding some sort of tracking device to your pet’s collar. This will make finding your pet in an unfortunate separation much, much easier.