It has been an epic year filled with hurricanes along the eastern seaboard and the gulf, tornados in the south and firestorms in the west.
Now more than ever, it is important to have an Emergency Preparedness Plan that also includes your family pets. If the threat is dangerous for you, there are also hazards for your pet.
If you are evacuating your home, be sure to bring your pet along with you. If you hunker down, make sure you are stocked up on supplies. Disaster preparedness can save your best friend’s life. Many preparedness lists often omit the needs of family pets. The following check list from the CDC details your needs from documents and food to leashes and grooming.
While having an extra supply of food is a good idea, you will need more than you think, especially if you do not have power or access to a vet.
Below are some tips and guidelines to consider for emergency preparedness for dogs & cats. Note your needs will vary based on your pets specific needs.
Just as you would pack a bag and first aid kit, you will need to have one for your pet.
What to Include in A Pet First Aid Kit?
At a minimum, you will want to have these items ready to go at a moment’s notice. Food and medication will be the most important items.
- The ASPCA suggests food for at least 3-7 days (but 2-4 weeks may be needed) include bowls and a travel can opener.
- Medications and medical records in a waterproof container or bag.
- The Humane Society recommends 1 gallon of water per person and animal (depending on size) for at least 5 days plus an extra gallon for cleaning. You might consider a dog water bottle that has a built-in dispenser for drinking on the go.
- Pet first aid kit and a pet first aid book to educate yourself on how to do basics such as cleaning a wound, making a splint and how to perform CPR on dogs.
- Sturdy leashes and carriers to transport animals.
- Harness with reflective material to see in the dark.
- ID Tag with your current cell phone number or better yet a GPS collar to track them if you get separated. You will also want to have photos and detailed descriptions of each pet in case one gets lost.
- Detailed feeding instructions and vet’s contact information in case you need to board or place them in foster care. Download ASPCA iOS App to store all this info electronically along with additional advice on the go.
- Bags to collect waste (or plastic grocery bags work fine)
Other Useful Items to Include:
- Grooming items(brush, clippers, pet shampoo, pet ointment) plus wipes for pets as there can be dirty and damp conditions especially during hurricanes and flooding.
- Blankets or towels for warmth and dryness.
- A dog life jacket in case you have to evacuate via water and your pup needs assistance swimming or staying afloat.
- Flashlight & batteries to help you navigate during a power outage.
Keeping your pet safe and clean during an emergency is critical. Grooming & Wellness products to pack in your Pet Emergency Kit:
Grooming & Cleansing Wipes – having a wipe that is safe for your pet is important as traditional wipes can be harmful to your pets’ sensitive skin. Our natural wipes are FSC Certified, alcohol-free and biodegradable. They make cleaning your pups’ dirty paws, face, ears, butt or body a breeze to remove fecal remnants, dirt or odor.
Healing Aid – Our Organic Boo Boo Balm is a must have preventative that aids aches and stiffness and is made with organic Neem to disinfect minor wounds or abrasions. It’s your multi-purpose ointment that’s formulated specifically for your pup.
Paw Rescue – in an emergency, it is important to take care of your feet. Our pets are the same. Paws can get damaged by the elements and rough terrain. Our organic Paw Rescue helps restore paws and is free of chemicals and made with food-grade ingredients so it’s safe if licked.
Nose Rescue – exposure to the elements can make your pups nose dry and cracked. They explore the world with their noses so having it healthy is important to their well-being. Our organic Nose Rescue has a natural SPF 17 and organic Olive Oil and Rosemary to hydrate and heal.
Flea & Tick – depending on the season, or where you live, fleas and ticks could be problematic and further add to a problematic situation as Fleas & Ticks can bring intestinal parasites and disease. Our natural Flea & Tick products provide an added layer of prevention. The Wipe or Spray is ideal for your preparedness kit.
Plaque & Tartar Spray – dental care is part of overall health for protecting our canine’s teeth. Our organic dental spray easily reduces plaque, tartar, and bacteria. It helps heal sensitive gums and tackles harmful bacterial infections.
Waterless Shampoo – in an emergency, you may not have access to water, or it may need to be rationed. Our Waterless Shampoo is the easier choice in bathing hour pet where you simply massage the foam into their coat.
Stink & Stain Spray – the stress of an emergency can be hard on your pet. If they are not in their normal routine, or being transported, accidents can happen. Our all-natural spray eliminates the problematic smells of vomit, urine and feces. It can even remove foul anal glad odors when necessary.
A Pet Card printed for your purse or wallet allows you to effectively communicate, that you have pets at home, even if you are not able to.
You can also place emergency stickers for first responders to alert them to pets in your home.
Remember, during a disaster what is good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors.
Plan Options Include:
- Create a buddy system in case you are not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
- Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
- Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
- Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
- Consider an out-of-town friend or relative.
- Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up to date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
- If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
- Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
- If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in danger.
When disaster strikes, the time to prepare has sadly passed. The key to any emergency is outlining your plan for preparedness beforehand for you and your pets. This saves you valuable time later when minutes matter. Emergencies can happen, preparedness starts with YOU – are you ready?