The key to survival during a disaster, crisis or emergency is to be as prepared as possible beforehand. Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for you and your pet.
Disaster Supply Checklist for Pets
You need to prepare supplies for your pet. Keep everything accessible and stored in sturdy containers such as duffle bags that can be easily carried.
Suggested items to include in your pet disaster kit should include:
- Food and water for at least 5 days for each pet. Bring a dish for water and don’t forget a can opener if needed.
- Medications & Medical Records stored in a waterproof container and First Aid Supplies.
- Cat litter box, litter, and garbage bags to collect all pets’ waste.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely to ensure that your pets can’t escape. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down. Be sure to have a secure catch on the door and remember blankets or towels for bedding and warmth.
- Current photo and description. This will help others identify your pets in case you become separated and it can act as proof that they are yours.
- Pet beds and toys. If they are easy to take along they can help reduce stress.
- Information about your pet’s feeding schedules and medical conditions.
- Vaccination records in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
- The name, phone number and address of your veterinarian.
- ID tags that are up-to-date and that includes your cell number.
If and when you evacuate, take your pets with you. Animals left behind in a disaster can easily be injured, lost or killed. Find a safe place ahead of time where you can leave your pets because most evacuation shelters do not accept pets unless they are a service animal. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to obtain the necessary equipment and help that your pets may need to survive.
It is important to be patient with your pets after a disaster. Getting them back into their normal routines as soon as possible will help. If your pet seems to be having health problems after surviving a disaster, get help from your veterinarian.