Pets are part of the family too and deserve to have their own emergency kit. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and can take many different forms, from barn fires or flooding caused by violent storms to earthquakes or gas line explosions. Depending upon where you live, possible natural disasters may vary—from hurricanes and blizzards to flooding and wildfires. Regardless of your location, man-made disasters or emergency situations such as plane crashes, train derailments, chemical spills and widespread power outages could occur and prevent you from reaching your pets or force you to quickly evacuate.
Here are some items to include in your pet’s preparedness kit in case of an emergency:
- Copies of medical records
- Medication, especially those for heartworms and fleas and ticks
- Food and water that will last for at least a week
- Food and water bowls
- Extra leash and harness
- Crate, carrier, or cage
- Pet first aid kit
- Grooming items
- Pet rain gear in case of extreme weather
- Blankets and towels for bedding or cleanup
- A current photo of you with your pet(s) in case of separation and proof of ownership
- Emergency contact list in case something happens to you and you are unable to take care of your pet
- Favorite toys and treats to reduce anxiety
- Extra trash bags or litter box to clean up after your pet
Along with these items, make sure your pet is microchipped. Or, if not, have a GPS collar or tag on them in case you get separated. Make a plan and practice evacuating with your pet in case of a real emergency. Your pet will be prepared, less anxious, and ready to go.
Make sure you know what kind of disasters are most likely to happen in your county, city or town.
Plan ahead in case you need to leave your home. Do not leave your pets behind. If a disaster forces you to evacuate, the best thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them as well. Know where you can take your pet in the event of an emergency. Evacuation shelters and pet-friendly hotels outside a 60-mile radius of your home are good places to start. Websites like BringFido.com and GoPetFriendly.com offer searchable directories of pet-friendly lodging options.
Make sure that the other people you rely on for your pet’s care, like your pet sitter, are privy to your specific pet-care plan in case you are away from home when a disaster strikes.
Anything can happen when you least expect and you want to do whatever you can to keep you and your pet safe.