“Something strange is in the air. Something is going to happen but my humans don’t know it yet.” — family pet
The emergency plan…
It’s important to have an emergency plan in place for your family and that includes the family pets. Natural disasters can happen without warning. A family with a plan is better equipped to handle life’s emergency disaster challenges more effectively.
It doesn’t take much to put a plan together, share it with the family, neighbors and / or friends you can count on. The benefits of having a piece of mind knowing you are prepared will make a difference if anything were to happen.
A backpack of plastic bin is all you need for all of your emergency pet supplies. This way, whether you are in a situation at home or need to evacuate, everything is already together and in one location. Here’s a checklist of what to include in your kit (Download: Pet Emergency Checklist):
- Vet records and the phone number to your vet
- Food and water for 7 days
- Leash, collar, ID tag and muzzle – some emergency shelters will only take muzzled pets
- For cats, don’t forget a litter box, scoop & trash bags
- Pack something of comfort such as a blanket or stuffed animal
- Pack a photo of your pet and you with your pet to prove ownership
- Medications / pet first aid kit
- Is your pet microchipped? Microchipping is a great way to get you and your pet back together if you are separated
In addition to having an emergency kit prepared, the website Ready.gov suggests having a back up shelter plan for your pets as some emergency shelters may not allow pets. For your home, be sure to have alert stickers on your doors telling rescue personnel about your animals. The ASPCA will send you one for FREE.
While we mostly concentrated here on domestic animals such as cats and dogs, below are a few additional pet specific resources for emergency preparedness: