With tornado season in full swing and hurricane season just starting, have you got a plan for your pets in case disaster strikes? Being prepared before disaster strikes can save the life of your pet. Although different disasters require different responses, you can be prepared with a disaster kit.
The most important thing you can do is to have an evacuation plan. If you must evacuate your home, take your pets with you! You need to know beforehand where you can take your pets in the event of a disaster. Red Cross disaster shelters do not allow you to take your pets there, so you will need to have an alternate plan in place. Know where shelters are located as well as what hotels may allow your pet to stay with you, for a list of pet-friendly hotels visit PetsWelcome.com.
Secondly, make sure that your pet is wearing identification at all times. You should have your pet’s rabies tag as well as an identification tag with any contact information you need on it. You will want your pet to be microchipped in order for you to get contacted should your pet escape and lose his or her tags.
Next, you need supplies. I would recommend getting a Rubbermaid tote to store all of your supplies and put it in a location that you know where it is and where it is easy to get to if you need to leave in a rush. You will want to put your pet crates or carriers in the same area for a quick and easy exit. You will want to put a photo of your pet with his name, sex, and your name and phone number on the crate in case you and your pet should happen to get separated.
Here’s a list of basic supplies you should keep in your tote:
- Food & water dishes for each pet. Write their names on the bottom of each bowl.
- A copy of your pet’s vaccination and medical records. I recommend keeping this in a plastic bag to prevent any water damage.
- Extra collars and leashes as well as an additional copy of identification tags should the collar he or she is wearing get lost or broken.
- Food, water and medications. You should pack enough food or medication for at least a week. If your medications need to be refrigerated, get a copy of the prescription from your vet and keep it with your medical records should you need an emergency refill.
- If you have a cat, include a spare litter box and a week’s worth of kitty litter. For a dog you will want a pooper-scooper and some bags for disposal.
- You will want to also pack a muzzle and a harness. Evacuations can be a stressful time for you pet and it can cause behaviors that are not normally present, so just to be on the safe side, you will need these.
- You will also want to include a small first aid kit for your pet.
- Some toys
- Grooming supplies – shampoo, comb, towels, nail clippers, and flea medications.
- You might want to also include flashlights, batteries, trash bags, baby wipes, disinfectant for kennels and litter boxes, and paper towels.
Being prepared for yourself as well as your pet for disasters can decrease the amount of time required for you to evacuate, as well as provide the necessary supplies you need should disaster strike.