My Pet is Safe – Make a Pet Survival Kit
Have you made a plan to evacuate your pets during an emergency or to shelter them in place?
The plan and pet survival kit you make, will be similar and just as important as the one you create for yourself and your children. You need to keep pets safe, fed and entertained. Plus you need a way to dispose of their waste and contain them. After all, they are a part of your family!
Pet Survival Kit Basics
Animals pick up our signals, good and bad and traveling with them can be stressful. Having a pet survival kit – in place – will reduce the panic and anxiety your pet (and you!) might face. Consider these items when putting your kit together:
- Pet carrier for each pet
- Two week supply of food and water
- Non-spill food and water bowls
- Pet first-aid kit
- Medications and dosing instructions
- Cat litter box and litter
- Plastic bags for waste disposal
- Paper towels
- Leashes/collars & ID tags/harnesses
- Toys and treats
Many emergency shelters cannot accept animals. Find out which hotels and shelters in your area allow pets if you have to evacuate. It’s best to know this before disaster strikes. My friend Melisa traveled with her cat Travis for a month last year. You can find her preparations and recommendations on this post Consider downloading the FEMA brochure, Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense for more information.
If you must leave them behind
If you need to evacuate, your pet should be taken with you. Only as a last resort should animals be left behind. If you do have to leave them, make sure they are in a secure area inside your home, not chained outside.
- Leave 10 days of dry food and water. If possible open a faucet to let water drip into a large container or partially fill a bathtub with water
- Use a room with no windows and adequate ventilation, such as a utility room, garage, bathroom, or other area that can be easily cleaned.
- Place a sign on the door for emergency responders – indicate the type and number of animals inside and your contact information
- Make sure your animal has an identification tag, or microchip, with your updated contact information
What about livestock
Yes, very animal, from chickens to horses needs a plan! First you need to know your disaster potential. You’ve probably already done the research for your area. Are you concerned about floods, thunderstorms, cold weather or wildfire? Since handling techniques vary with each type of animal, and you most likely can’t check them into a hotel, you should plan how to handle livestock and where they can be sheltered if needed.
Making a plan about food and water will be critical. Here are some resources from around the web:
Wildland Fire Safety for your Livestock from Cal-Fire has helpful information to aid in your planning.
Also FEMA has extensive information about evacuating livestock in the event of a hurricane. This will certainly apply to all kinds of disasters.
And you might want to check out this post from Veterinarian Laura Madsen – Evacuating the Big Guys – Horses and other large livestock.