From wildfires to hurricanes, a natural disaster can happen at any time. And when disasters strike, preparedness is critical. Evacuations leave little time to pack, so being ready at a moment’s notice with a disaster kit for you and your pets is essential.
Dr. Ruth MacPete, “The Pet Vet”, recommends that your pet should have an ID tag or microchip, along with an emergency kit that includes the following:
A container to store all supplies. A duffel bag or backpack is easy to grab and carry in case you need to evacuate. Be sure to store your pet’s disaster kit in the same location as yours – someplace that is easily accessible.
Food and water. The American Red Cross recommends you include a two-week supply of food and water in your disaster kit. Be sure to include bowls as well as a can opener if you’re bringing canned food. Collapsible bowls are ideal as they are lightweight and won’t take up a lot of space.
Toys and treats. Include your pet’s favorite treats and toys in the kit. Many frightened animals will hide during a disaster and will not want to come out of their hiding place. Having your pet’s favorite toy on hand and ready to squeak may help entice your furry family member out of hiding and into safety. Toys also come in handy if you need something to entertain your pet while you are waiting out the storm somewhere.
Leash or carrier. Be sure to include a leash (preferably one that is reflective) for dogs, or a pet carrier for cats and small dogs so that you can safely secure and transport your pet.
Medications. Be sure to include any medications that your pet is currently taking, including flea, tick and heartworm preventatives. You may not be able to contact your vet during an emergency so have extra supplies available.
Important documents. Pack a copy of your pet’s important medical records, including vaccination history and microchip information.
Cat litter and litter box. If you have cats, make sure you have a small litter box and small box or bag of litter ready to go. If you have to spend the night in a hotel or shelter you will need someplace for your feline friend to relieve themselves.