Recent tragedies in the pet industry have us all reviewing our emergency evacuation and safety protocols for our pet business. What safety measures do you have in place? Do you require overnight staff? Do you have cameras and monitor systems? How often do you practice emergency evacuation drills? Do you know what common emergencies are likely in your area?
Creating emergency plans for your business must be customized to the likely events that can happen in your area. Depending on your location you may need to plan for hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, flood or blizzards. All pet care businesses should also include plans for facility fires, power and utility outages, and shelter in place situations. While sprinkler systems may not be feasible or in your budget there are cost affordable monitoring devices for carbon monoxide and smoke that should be installed in every pet business.
A key part of your planning needs to include how you safely evacuate staff and the pets in your care. Once again, the size and set-up of your building and grounds will dictate the best plans for your business. For businesses that are not staffed overnight you also need to plan for evacuating pets after hours as some of the deadliest fires in our industry have happened at night. It is key that every staff member understand your emergency plans and that you have regular practice drills.
The time invested creating your emergency plans and holding drills will not only help you sleep better at night, it is great marketing information to set your business apart. We encourage you to let your clients know that you have these plans in place. Be sure to watch our video where we share ideas on evacuation planning tools and a specific pet business resource that will make creating your plans easier.