Power outages are something that most pet families will experience at one time or another. Losing power is a huge inconvenience, and it can even be dangerous in certain circumstances. Luckily, we're here to teach you how to prepare for a power outage with your dog and give you tips for keeping you and Fido safe and comfortable.
Power outages most often come without notice, though there are some things you can do to stay prepared for this scenario. Here are some things you can do to ready yourself and Fido for a power outage.
A full battery on your phone is so important when there's a risk of a power outage. Having a charge on your phone could mean the difference between being able to call for help during an emergency and not being able to. Consider getting a cell phone power bank to charge your phone when the power is out. Keep the cell phone bank charged at all times so you're never caught off guard.
Be sure you have a few working flashlights and some packs of batteries lying around. Keep these items in a designated spot so you can quickly access them in the dark if the power goes out.
Keep a variety of canned goods and other shelf-stable foods on hand, and make sure you have a manual can opener too. Ideally, you should have at least a week's worth of nonperishable food at any given time.
Write down important contact information in case of an emergency. Make sure you have the number for your pet's vet, as well as any emergency contacts for yourself too. Be sure to keep a number for your power company handy too — you'll need it to report any power outages.
Keep some cash on you at all times since credit card machines and ATMs may not be functional during a power outage.
Having gas is crucial in the event you need to evacuate due to extreme weather. Keep your tank topped off to ensure you have the fuel to get you where you need to go. If you want to store extra fuel in gas canisters to power a generator, be sure to stock up on fuel stabilizer, or switch out the stocked fuel once every 6 months.
If you're lucky enough to have a generator, make sure you're doing regular maintenance on it. Do frequent trial runs with your generator to make sure it's operating properly. The last thing you want is for your generator not to work when you need it most. Be sure you're using your generator outside and well away from windows since they can release carbon monoxide, which is deadly to humans and pets.
Make sure your pet has their ID and vaccination tags on their collar at all times — this can make your pet easily identifiable should you get separated during a power outage.
There's always a chance you'll have to evacuate during a power outage, especially if the outage is due to extreme weather. Packing a bag in the dark is nearly impossible, so it's a good idea to keep a bag ready to go at all times.
Keep pop-top cans of food for your pet in your emergency preparedness kit. While dry dog food will work fine too, pop-top cans are pre-portioned, compact, and easy to carry. Put a copy of your dog's vaccination records in your pack, as well as some pictures of you and Fido should you get separated. Don't forget to store a supply of medications for you and Fido in your emergency bag too.
Do some research into places where you can shelter with your pets should you need to evacuate. Keep a list of pet-friendly shelters in your wallet, just in case.
Many emergency shelters won't accept pets (except for service animals), so it's a good idea to research pet-friendly hotels in your area too.
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer — it's odorless, colorless, and extremely deadly to humans and their pets. For this reason, it's essential that you have battery-operated carbon monoxide monitors around your home for when the power goes out.
There are some precautions you should take during the power outage to keep your family as safe as possible.
Restoration of power can cause power surges that can cause appliances to malfunction or break, so it's best to unplug your appliances if your power goes out.
Candles can pose a fire danger, especially with a rambunctious dog around. Rather than candles, use battery-operated flashlights as a light source.
Resist the urge to open the refrigerator or freezer since this can make food spoil more quickly. Perishable food will typically last 4 hours without power in the fridge and about a day in the freezer — that is, if the doors remain closed.
Power outages are a stressful scenario, but luckily, there are things you can do to prepare for them. Print off this list and keep it in a safe spot to make sure you're ready when an outage comes your way.