Focus on preparing the whole family. Your furry companions need shelter too when an emergency strikes. If you have small pets like birds, snakes, or amphibians you can make a plan for them as well. Around here I worry the most about tornadoes. Keep your kit where you will go in that kind of storm. You won't have time to run grab it. If you don't have a basement put the emergency kit in the inner bathroom or closet that you will be going to. Put your people supplies there as well. Many of the first aid supplies like bandage material and wound cleaning supplies can be use on people as well as dogs (not oral medication!).
Don't forget to identify your pet with a microchip. Your first line of defense is a collar and tag. However if lose things are lost the microchip will help rescuers get your pet back with you safely.
Where can I find out how to prepare my pet and family for an emergency?
This is information from the CDC website:
Find out what your community's plans and resources are for protecting pets in an emergency. The following are considered key resources for planning how to ensure your pets' safety before an emergency:
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
AMVA offers a variety of resources to assist veterinarians, animal owners, and others interested in the well-being of animals to prepare for animal safety in the event of a disaster.
Through its volunteer-driven RedRover Responders (formerly the Emergency Animal Rescue Service or EARS), RedRover shelters and cares for animals displaced by natural disasters and other crises, such as criminal seizures and hoarding cases, in the United States and Canada. If you need sheltering assistance, please call RedRover at (800) 440-3277. Visit RedRover at http://redrover.org.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA is the federal agency that leads the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident.
- Animals and Emergencies: Preparedness Information:http://www.fema.
- Pet Travel and Lodging Resources
Most emergency shelters do not take pets. Before an emergency, plan where you will take your family and pets if you are ever asked to evacuate your home. There are a number of organizations that offer advice and resources for traveling with pets, including searchable lists of lodging establishments that accept pets.
Knowing where your family will go that also allows pets will set everyone's mind at ease. Be sure you have kennels for all of the pets because this may serve as temporary housing until you get back on your feet.
What should you include in the disaster kit? A plastic container with a lid works really well.
• 2-week supply of food (dry & canned)
• 2-week supply of water in plastic gallon
jugs with secure lids
• Batteries (flashlight, radio)
• Cage/carrier (one for each animal, labeled
with your contact information)
• Can opener (manual)
• Cat/wildlife gloves
• Copies of veterinary records and proof
• Emergency contact list
• Familiar items to make pets feel
comfortable (favorite toys, treats, blankets)
• First aid kit (see next page)
• DiET: record the diet for each individual
animal, including what not to feed in case
• MEDiCATioNs: list each animal separately, including dose and frequency for
each medication. Provide veterinary and
pharmacy contact information for refills.
• leash and collar or harness
(for each animal)
• litter, litter pan, litter scoop
• Maps of local area and alternate evacuation
routes (in case of road closures)
• Muzzles (dog or cat)
• Newspaper (bedding, litter)
• No-spill food and water dishes
• Paper towels
• radio (solar and battery operated)
• spoon (for canned food)
• stakes and tie-outs
• Trash bags
What kinds of things should go into a pet (family) first aid kit?
• Activated charcoal (liquid)
• Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
• Antibiotic ointment (for wounds)
• Antibiotic eye ointment
• Bandage scissors
• Bandage tape
(chlorhexidine), scrub and
• Cotton bandage rolls
• Cotton-tipped swabs
• Elastic bandage rolls
• Eye rinse (sterile)
• Flea and tick prevention and treatment
• gauze pads and rolls
• ice cream sticks (which may be used as
• isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
• latex gloves or non-allergenic gloves
• liquid dish detergent (mild wound and
• Measuring spoons
• Medications and preventatives (such
as heartworm prevention), minimum
2-week supply, with clearly labeled
instructions. Provide veterinary and
pharmacy contact information for refills.
• Non-adherent bandage pads
• saline solution (for rinsing wounds)
• sterile lubricant (water based)
• styptic powder (clotting agent)
• syringe or eyedropper
• Thermometer (digital)
• Towel and washcloth
Planning ahead to keep everyone safe also includes having a plan on how to get to the safe place in the house and where to meet up after the danger is past. Practice with family and pets so things run smoothly in the face of a real emergency.