Some types of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, may be more common in other areas of the country, but others, such as floods and fires, can happen anywhere. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a disaster plan in place. Remembering to plan for your pets’ care as well will help keep them safe and decrease everyone’s stress.
Whether it is a localized emergency at your home or a more widespread evacuation order, it is helpful to have quick access to your pets’ supplies as well as your own. You can designate a bin with a lid to keep everything in one place. The following are some things to organize before disaster strikes.
Make sure your pets have updated identification. Dogs should wear collars with ID tags, and dogs and cats can be permanently micro-chipped. Just remember to keep your contact information updated if it changes and use a cell phone number on ID tags so you can be contacted away from home. It is always a good idea to keep carriers or crates on hand for emergency transportation or housing.
In the bin you can place extra leashes, food and water bowls, a 3-4 day supply of food and water, and extra medication. Rotate supplies periodically so they do not expire. Remember to include a portable litter box and cat litter for cats, a can opener for any canned food, and plastic bags and paper towels for cleanup.
Keep your pets up to date on vaccines and keep a copy of vaccine records. Maintain written instructions on feeding and medication in case your pets must be sheltered at a kennel or by a friend. Including pets in your disaster plan can help ensure their safety as well. More ideas on building a pet disaster kit can be found at www.aspca.org