Prepare For Disaster
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
From “Disaster Preparedness for Pets,” available at hsus.org
These photos are straight from websites, non of these animals were in our care.
Disaster Supply Checklist for Pets
Every member of your family should know what he or she needs to take when you evacuate. You also need to prepare supplies for your pet. Stock up on non-perishables well ahead of time, and have everything ready to go at a moment’s notice. Keep everything accessible, stored in sturdy containers (duffel bags, covered trash containers, etc.) that can be carried easily.
If you reside in an area prone to certain seasonal disasters, such as flooding or hurricanes that might require evacuation, create a kit to keep in your car.
In your pet disaster kit, you should include:
- Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. 30 days is much better.
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit. A pet first aid book is also good to include.
- Cat litter box, litter, garbage bags to collect all pets’ waste, and litter scoop.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time while you are away from home. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth, and other special items.
- Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated and to prove that they are yours.
- Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce stress.
- Information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
- Other useful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach.
Prepare for Everyday Emergencies
These are example scenarios that could happen to you at any time, anywhere in the country. Prepare yourself for these events, and if a large disaster should ever hit, you will be ready and know what to do:
The roads are icy, traffic is a mess and you decide to stay with a friend instead of risking the drive home from school or work. Who will check on your cat and feed her?
While you were out running errands, a propane truck overturned on the street near your neighborhood and you are not allowed to go home. A police officer tells you the electricity to your neighborhood was shut off. How can you make sure your birds stay warm?
Your mother-in-law has had a heart attack and you are going to meet your wife at the hospital. It may be a long night. Who will give your dog his medicine?
The Humane Society of the United States recommends the following actions to make sure your pets are taken care of when everyday events like these prevent you from taking care of your pets:
Find a trusted neighbor and give them a key to your house or barn. Make sure this person is comfortable and familiar with your pets.
Make sure the neighbor knows your pets’ whereabouts and habits, so they will not have to waste precious time trying to find or catch them.
Create a pet emergency/disaster kit and place it in a prominent place where your neighbor can find it.
If the emergency involves evacuation, make sure the neighbor would be willing to take your pets and has access to the appropriate carriers and leashes. Plan to meet at a prearranged location.
If you use a pet sitting service, they may be available to help, but discuss the possibility well in advance.