Our pets are important members of our family and we will do everything we can to keep them safe. What will we do when disaster strikes and we are no longer in control? What will we do to ensure our safety and our pets’ safety? BE PREPARED.
Whether you plan to evacuate or take shelter in your home, make sure you have a plan for you and your pets. FEMA recommends having an emergency supply kit for your family, including your pets. This way, if you need to get out quick, you have all your important necessities in one place. Also, it is a good idea to develop a buddy system with neighbors, close friends, and relatives in case you are unable to take your pet with you. If you must evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. They will most likely be unable to survive on their own or you may not be able to find them when you return. If you take your pets with you, have a plan on where to go. Some hotels may not take pets, so have a boarding facility lined up if needed. Make sure you have a rescue alert sticker to allow people to know you have pets inside your home; include the types and number of pets, your veterinarian's name and their number. If you evacuate with your pets, if time allows, write "EVACUATED" across the sticker.
Click to fill out a form to recieve a FREE sticker from the ASPCA. Also, check your local pet stores.
What is needed in your pet’s emergency kit?
FEMA recommends having two kits. In one kit, put everything you need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other kit should be smaller and lightweight if you and your pets need to get away.
Below is a list of items that should be included in your pet’s emergency kit:
·Food – keep at least 3-7 days of food in an airtight, waterproof container. Don't forget feeding and water dishes.
·Water – store at least 3-7 days of water specifically for your pets, in addition to your needs.
·Medicine and medical records – keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a daily basis and a copy of their medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container.
·First aid kit – include at least cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea, tick and heartworm prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution. It may be a good idea to purchase a pet first aid reference book to include in the kit. ** You may purchase a first aid kit from the ASPCA store online.
·Collar with ID tags, harness or leash – your pet should wear a collar with its rabies and identification tag at all times; keep an extra set in your kit.
·Important documents – in addition to medical records, keep a copy of registration papers, adoption papers, and vaccination documents in a waterproof container.
·Crate or Pet carrier
·Sanitation – Pet litter and a litter box should be included if needed; also bring newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. You can also use bleach to purify water by using 8 drops bleach per gallon of water. Stir well and let stand for 30 minutes before use. Don’t use scented bleach or those with added cleaners.
·A picture of you and your pet together – if you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing charateristics.
·Familiar items – Include favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit; familiar items may reduce the amount of stress for your pet.
·Flashlight, a blanket for scooping up fearful pets
**It is a good idea to make a emergency kit for the human members of your family as well. Include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.**
Have a plan for what you will do in an emergency. If evacuation is necessary, plan in advance where you will go and how you will get there. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, close friends and relatives to care for or evacuate your pet if you are unable to do so. Make sure your “buddy” is familiar with your pet’s needs and knows where their emergency kit is. It is also a good idea to designate a special place in your area and one farther away for you to meet in case of an emergency. Keep a list of emergency numbers; in this list, include some veterinary clinics near the areas you will plan to evacuate to. Microchip your pet- If they get lost, the microchip is a permanent implant that can help reunite them with your family if you get separated.
If you would like to learn more information on preparing yourself for an emergency situation for you or your pets, visit www.ready.gov
The ASPCA also has great information for exotic pets such as birds, reptiles, and small animals.