Don’t forget your pets.
Here is a list of items that you should have in your pet emergency kit:
- Food: Make sure that you have at least enough food for your pet to last as long as you provide for yourself. Bring the food they are use to eating and keep it in a waterproof container. Don’t forget a bowl to feed them in and a manual can opener.
- Water: Be sure to have extra water on hand for your pet. Again, don’t forget a bowl.
- Medicines: Remember to pack up any medications that your pet may need to survive. Always have extra medication in the emergency kit so you don’t forget. Some medicines you bring for yourself may also work for your pets, especially natural or homeopathic meds. Some are dangerous or fatal. Be informed.Be aware of any medication that may need refrigeration such as insulin and have a plan in place to keep it cool.
- Medical Records: Be sure to always keep your pets medical records together and with the emergency kit. Records such as proof of ownership, pictures of you and your pet together, vaccinations, and rabies tags are vital especially if you have to cross state lines.
- First Aid Kit: Have a separate medical kit for your pets with basic medical supplies. Some of the items that should be in your pet’s medical kit are: bandages, tape, cotton, scissors, flea and tick prevention, antibiotic ointment, latex gloves, saline solution, alcohol, comb, brush and a Pet Emergency Pocket Guide” .
- Pet Carrier or Crate: Make sure that you have a carrier for each of your pets. Be sure that the carrier or crate is big enough to comfortable fit your pet with room to stand and lie down.
- Sanitation Needs: Don’t forget about the other essentials that your pet needs such as: litter box, litter, paper towels, wipes, plastic bags and newspapers. Also include bleach and other disinfectant products.
- Familiar Items: Emergencies and disaster are not only stressful on humans but on your pet as well. Make sure to make plans to include their favorite toys, blankets, and treats.
Remember, that if the situation appears to not be safe for you then it is not safe for your pet either. If evacuation is necessary then you have to take your pet with you. Many who evacuated during Hurricane Katrina thought that it would only be for a couple of days. Since they thought they would be right back they left their pets behind with enough food and water for a couple of days. Unfortunately, it was much longer then a couple of days and those people who left animals behind were not allowed back into the city to get their pets.
Final Thoughts Evacuating With Your Pets
Your pets depend on you to take care of them (and in an emergency, you may depend on your pet) so don’t let them down by abandoning them in an emergency. Be sure to include your pets in your emergency and disaster drills. Get them use to being in their carrier and traveling in your truck. Be sure to keep their vaccinations up to date. Make sure they have a secured collar on with identification. Think about taking some basic first aid training for animals in case you have to give your pet CPR or have to bandage a wounded leg. Everything runs smoother if it is planned ahead of time and practiced regularly. Don’t forget to plan for your pets in your emergency and disaster preparedness plans.