Disasters are unpredictable and devastating for families. Often our pets get caught up in the fray and frenzy of an evacuation or during the disaster event. Having a preparedness plan and kit for your family and pets could make the difference between life and death for your pets.
Step 1: Have a Plan
The most important part of disaster preparedness is to have a plan the whole family is aware of and ready for. Sit down as a family unit to get the details listed out in writing and prepare a list for a family evacuation kit.
Step 2: Build your Pet Evacuation Kit
- Prepare pet food in waterproof containers and label each container for your pet. Have gallons of water available and the bowls needed for your pets. If your pets eat wet food, make sure to have a can-opener.
- Properly and thoroughly identify your pets. Microchips with up-to-date information are the ideal form of pet identification. Keep collars or harnesses with leashes and up-to-date emergency contacts handy for easy application. Have clear pictures of you with your pets so you can identify them if they are separated from you. Keep your pets current on their vaccinations and keep copies of their vaccination records in a waterproof container in your kit.
- Plan out your pets’ transportation. Make sure you have a carrier spot for each of your pets and adjust your pet to being comfortable in their carrier. Label each carrier with your contact information.
- Prepare to manage your pets’ waste. Pack various bags, litter and boxes to give you pet a place to go and help keep your family safe from waste.
Overall, a little bit of planning can go a long way in keeping your family and pets healthy and by your side during a disaster. For more information about evacuation plans and pet resources check out the CDC and contact your veterinarian for additional tips and tricks to keep your pets safe!