Disaster preparedness is important in keeping you and your pet safe. Having a plan and putting together a pet emergency kit in the same way you create an emergency kit for yourself can help you prepare for the unexpected.
Before an emergency
Understand your area’s natural disasters
Knowing what type of natural disaster is most likely to hit your geographic region should help you prepare accordingly. Your plan may look different when preparing for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or fires.
Make sure your pet is microchipped
Have your pet microchipped and check that the contact information is up to date. Also consider including an emergency contact as well.
Collars and Tags
Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date information on the tags.
Make a Plan
If you have to evacuate
Keep leashes, pet carriers and your emergency kit easily accessible. Label your pet carrier with your pet’s name. Plan where your pet will stay as they may not be allowed in local emergency shelters. Local veterinarians and/or animal hospitals may be good sources of information. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET BEHIND.
Team up with a neighbor, family member or friend who can check on or help evacuate your animals if you’re not home.
If you have to shelter in place
Remember, if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet. If you have to evacuate, your pet should too. However, if you are sheltering in place, select a safe, interior room with no windows.
Emergency Kit Checklist
Prepare an emergency kit for your pet. Your pet disaster preparedness kit should include:
- Bottled water: a 2 week supply for each pet + extra for washing in case their fur, faces or paws would need to be cleaned.
- Food: 2 week supply. Freeze-dried raw is a great choice for dogs or cats as it’s light-weight and shelf stable, but dry food will also work, be sure to store it in a waterproof container or bag.
- Food and water bowls, collapsible bowls are a great space saver.
- Medications: 2 week supply.
- First aid kit.
- Veterinarian contact information & any necessary medical history (in a waterproof container or bag).
- For cats: litter box (consider aluminum pans) scoopable litter and litter scoop.
- For dogs: poop bags
- Liquid dish soap.
- Garbage bags.
- Extra leashes.
- For cats: collapsible carrier or pillowcase.
- For dogs: chew toys.
Write the date that you prepared the kit and put a reminder in your calendar to update it, including the medical information. It’s important to rotate out and replace the food and water every 2 months or so to keep the supplies fresh.
Your pet is dependent on you for their safety and well-being. Making a plan and preparing a pet emergency kit for your pet will help ensure their safety if a natural disaster hits.