Just in case: Animal Disaster Preparedness

Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfire, and storms of all kinds are natural disasters and should be prepared for continuously. Weather can change quickly and protecting your most valuable possessions should be top of mind – including your pets. Luckily you can begin the groundwork now, in honor of National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day on May 8th, by gathering some of your dog or cat’s most helpful belongings in the case of an emergency.

As cited by the ASPCA, we agree that a kit is a great precaution to take and should be left by an exit in your house for quick carry-out in an evacuation. In this kit you should include:
-photocopies and/or a USB of your pet’s vet information, their health history, and the medications that he or she is on
-at least seven days worth of food and water (replace every two months) a food and/or water bowl
-a bed and a blanket
-a pan with litter for a cat restroom area, and bags to pick up droppings
-an extra leash and collar with ID
-a cage for transportation (also great to store the kit items inside)
-a toy or treats
-a cool pack and a heat pack
-paper towels
-recent photos of your pet in the case that they go missing
– something that smells like you, like a T-shirt, that can be placed in their crate/carrier or used in case they get out

This kit could be a life-saver for your animal so it’s important to keep it stocked and within healthy consumption dates. Along with your disaster prep kit, there are a couple of other things that you can do now to protect your pet.

Get a pet alert sticker or magnet for the front entry of your home and indicate how many pets you have and add your veterinarian contact info. When a rescue team arrives at your house, they will know the number of pets to look for, and their respective vet. This will help them in the case that your animals need to be taken to safety elsewhere. These stickers can be found on the ASPCA website or at your local pet supplies store. Once you’ve filled it out, place it outside of your front door for easier access to these crucial details.

The final recommendation for preparing for a disaster would be to secure your pet’s handoff. This can either mean knowing where you will take your pet for emergency boarding, or it can mean designating your pet’s god-parents. Whoever you choose must be in agreement of your terms, and they should take the utmost care of them temporarily or possibly permanently.

Pets are part of the family and if you have to evacuate your home, please take them with you. Their survival is limited without the help of human supervision and protection from the elements. If you get started now on these steps, there will be no hesitation that you are able to take on the task of securing your pets’ survival. No matter where you are in the world, Mother Nature can take a turn for the worse especially as we approach unpredictable spring weather. Know your area’s most potential threats and go from there in disaster prep. Not only will your pet thank you, they will also be a good companion to help relieve stress in any weather situation that may cross your paths.

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