Getting Prepared BEFORE Disaster Strikes
Are you prepared for an emergency or natural disaster? With all the recent hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and extraordinary damage, being prepared, in advance, is the best defense for you, your family and especially your vulnerable pets.
Prepare ahead of a disaster
Your children and pets are looking to you for leadership, protection, and safety. Before disaster strikes, plan your course of action and stock the items you will need for both humans and pets.
8 Steps to Make Sure Your Pets Will Be Safe
- Microchip your pets; and make sure your contact information is up-to-date and includes at least one contact outside your immediate area.
- Create an Emergency Kit for each pet (See “What to Include in Your Pet Emergency Kit” below). Keep the kit(s) in an easy-to-access location (i.e., near an exit).
- Make sure the tags on your pet’s collars are current and include at least one contact outside your immediate area.
- Know where the pet-friendly hotels are and find out in advance if they have weight or breed restrictions (don’t rely on internet information that may be incorrect or outdated).
- Create a buddy system; exchange pet information, evacuation plans and house keys with trusted neighbors or friends nearby in the event you’re not home when the area is evacuated.
- Identify emergency veterinary facilities outside your immediate area in the event your pets become injured or sick.
- Know where to search for lost/missing pets after a disaster and keep that contact information in your Pet Emergency Kit.
- Discuss emergency/disaster planning with your veterinarian.
What to Include in Your Pet Emergency Kit (For Each Pet)
- One week supply of pet’s regular food & treats and fresh water (include a can opener, if necessary)
- Copies of Vaccination/Vet/Pet ID Records
- Pet First Aid Kit (See “What to Include in Your Pet First Aid Kit” below)
- Temporary ID Tags (with contact info of a friend/relative outside your immediate area)
- Carrier, leash and extra collar/harness for each pet
- Photos (and/or documents) proving pet ownership and for “lost pet” fliers
- Bowls (collapsible), poop bags, wipes, toys, blankets/towels and rope
- Contact information for pet-friendly hotels, vets, American Red Cross & Humane Society
- Download and complete a Pet Emergency Contact Card from the AVMA website and carry a copy in your wallet and emergency kit. Read their “Saving the Whole Family” booklet for more tips.
What to Include in Your Pet First Aid Kit (Enough for all Your Pets)
- Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting. Do NOT use if pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or having difficulty breathing.
- Nylon slip-leash
- Pet-appropriate First Aid Book
- Bandages (self-cling), gauze pads and rolls, cotton swabs/balls and First Aid adhesive tape
- Alcohol swabs and sterile saline solution
- Antibiotic ointment and Cortizone-10
- Hydrogen peroxide (Do NOT use to induce vomiting unless directed by a vet/poison-control expert)
- Tweezers, nail clippers and scissors (with blunt, rounded ends)
- Hand sanitizer, antiseptic wipes, lotion or spray
- Rectal thermometer (+ petroleum jelly to lubricate)
- Benadryl (know the correct dosage for your pet(s) in advance)
- Flashlight, ice/cold packs and non-latex disposable gloves
No one likes to think about natural disasters or unforeseen emergencies. But, by being prepared in advance, you increase your chances of being able to evacuate safely and quickly with everything you need.
Emergencies never come at a good time, so isn’t your peace-of-mind worth some planning and preparation today?
Additional Resources & Reading