Back-Up Plans & Emergency Contacts

We always need to be prepared to take care of our animals, especially during emergencies such as blizzard, fire, flood, power failure, or other local dangers. You also need to be prepared in case your pets have to be evacuated.

We at Bat Country Pet Sitting will do all we can to provide our best care and service for your pets and property. However, there are some situations in which we may only be able to provide partial services and others where we won’t be able to reach your property or home at all.


Back-Up Plans

In the event of the following:

  • Both of us are hospitalized and/or seriously incapacitated (car accident, etc)
  • A local/city emergency or severe weather event leaves us unable to reach your home in the short or long-term, or
  • We are actively evacuating our own home and pets

one of us (Briana or Ryan) and/or our representative will reach out to you AND your local emergency contact and arrange for them to take over care of your pets.

While we do have a great network of fellow sitters who help back us up under normal circumstances, their busy schedules can make it difficult to help other sitters in unexpected emergencies. Please ensure that when you travel, your primary emergency contact is available to help in an emergency during the dates you’ll be gone, and has keys or other reliable method of entering your home.

Your identification of 1-2 emergency contacts will be requested prior to sitting services starting. We will attempt to reach these contacts via phone, email and text, in the event we are in an emergency situation and we cannot provide care or reach your home.

We are not responsible for your pets or home if you have not provided an appropriate contact list, if your emergency contacts cannot be reached or don’t return our calls/texts/emails, and/or if we cannot safely reach/enter your home.

We strongly suggest that you set up the following contacts:

1. One for emergency help. For example, if both of us at BatCo are unable to tend to your pets and home if we suffer a debilitating injury or accident (car accident, hospitalization, death) during the time we are scheduled to house or pet sit for you. Should this happen, and we are both affected, your emergency support person will be contacted immediately by our client contact representative and asked to take over care of your pets.

Your emergency contact should ideally be a trusted and available family member, neighbor, or friend who has keys or other guaranteed entry to your home and the written authority to speak for you and act in your place and who will available on short notice while you’re away.

2. One for disaster help. Someone who can provide feeding, care and/or transportation for your pets and animals before or after a severe weather event (hurricane, flooding, tornado etc), earthquake, fire, evacuation, major power outage or similar disaster or emergency.

Think hard about who your trusted critical emergency contact/s will be.

Your disaster emergency contact should ideally live well out of your geographic risk area and in some cases, might be an out-of-state contact. This is crucial, because if your disaster emergency contact lives nearby, and is affected by the same snowstorm, power/grid failure, flood, or tornado, they may not be unable to provide appropriate or timely care.

Your emergency contact should be far enough away to be outside of the emergency zone, but close enough to reach your home in enough time to feed, medicate, or move your pets (if evacuation or emergency care is needed).

Does your contact KNOW they’re your emergency contact?

Make sure your contact KNOWS that they are your emergency contact! You should have their input when creating your family disaster plan, and they should have reliable methods of entry and access to your home and property.

It is also recommended that they are experienced in using horse/stock trailers, animal crates, tack, leads, and anything else your particular pets/animals require for emergency care, movement, housing, etc. Your small pets’ crates etc should fit in their primary mode of transport, as well.

Preparation & Training

Practice your plans with your contact—it’ll save time and grief in an actual emergency. It won’t help anyone if your Great Dane’s travel kennel won’t fit in their tiny Chevy Aveo!

This is a lot to do on your end, and a lot to ask of your contact/s. In the best case scenario, however, they’ll be acting as YOUR back-up emergency contact, also, and you’ll both then be in a position to care for each others’ animals and property in a serious emergency. Remember–these are family members, not just ‘pets’ or ‘animals’. We are their Guardians, and they rely on us for care, love, and good health.

Take the time to first familiarize yourself with the various methods of first aid and emergency care your pets and home might require. Then methodically start putting together a basic human AND pet first aid kit (even a small kit is better than none) and your disaster preparedness plan. Taking steps now to learn and prepare can save lives!

Pet First Aid & CPR Certification

Midwest Pet First Aid Certification Logo

If you would like to learn more and take the final step to become a truly capable aid and resource to your pets and family, you can easily become Pet First Aid & CPR Certified through Midwest Pet First Aid. Our courses include a family and pet disaster preparedness module, small mammal and exotic pet first aid and much more!

Severe Weather Emergencies

These are primarily significant, hazardous weather events such as: storms and floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and resulting massive power outages or grid failure. You will entrust BatCo to use best judgment in caring for your pets(s) and home if we are servicing your pet(s) at the time of inclement or severe weather. BatCo will try to carry out your instructions to the best of our ability.

However, it’s up to you to provide the final planning for your pet’s care, and this includes:

  1. Creating, practicing and appropriately sharing your disaster plan
  2. Ensuring that you have at least one personal trusted contact who can and will act in your place to provide the home care plan or the rescue/evacuation plan your pets or animals need to survive
  3. Knowing what kinds of emergencies might happen in your immediate area and informing your pet sitters and back-up care givers of any information that can help them provide appropriate service, such as: are you living in an area that floods regularly in heavy storms? Are you near areas that can burn quickly? Does your neighborhood lose power easily in a storm?

The care we provide to our customer’s pets and their safety is our first concern.

Our emergency plan for our clients will be as follows:

  1. Every effort will be made to drive to your home
  2. The service schedule may be changed, interrupted, or altered due to weather/road conditions
  3. If it is not possible to reach or enter your home safely, your emergency contact will be notified
  4. You will be notified immediately that the above-mentioned contingency plan has been activated

Please remember that garage door openers, number pads etc are not operational in the event of power outages. In the event that you do not provide a nearby contact with access to your home for BatCo’s records, customer realizes that BatCo will provide service as soon as possible, but not until power has been restored to your area, conditions allow us to reach your home safely, and/or until we are no longer in an evacuation situation, if one exists.

We are not responsible for your pets or home if you have not provided an appropriate contact list, if your emergency contacts cannot be reached or don’t return our calls, and/or if we cannot safely reach/enter your home.

Vaccinations & Microchips

BatCo requires that all dogs and cats under our direct care have the necessary rabies vaccination required by Minnesota law. If your pet escapes or becomes lost during a disaster or emergency, they are at risk of coming into contact with domestic and wild animals that can carry rabies and other diseases.

Microchipping your dogs and cats can make the difference between being reunited with your pet if he’s lost and never seeing your beloved pet again. Getting your pets microchipped is a very inexpensive and easy procedure.

Evacuation: In the event pets need to be evacuated or boarded with little to no notice, being able to provide proof of rabies vaccination can potentially make life a lot easier. If an evacuation shelter, or other community area requires rabies vaccinations, or if the vaccination status of your pet comes into question, you’ll be protected.

Valuable Resources

MINNESOTA: Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Learn How to Prevent Pet-Related Fires in Your Home

First Aid Tips & Emergency Resources for Pet Owners

The American Veterinary Medical Association Saving the Whole Family© brochure offers a comprehensive list of what needs to be done to safeguard your pets before, during and after a disaster. Disaster Supply Checklist

University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine: Family Disaster Plan Should Include Pets

American Red Cross: Pets and Disaster: Be Prepared

Thank you for your help in protecting your pets and property!

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