Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies
The following information can be found in the FEMA publication "Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense. Get Ready Now." at www.ready.gov
1. Prepare a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
Just as you do with your family's emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, particularly food and water. consider two kits. In one, put everything you and your pets will need to stay where you are. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you and your pets have to get away. Plus, be sure to review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.
Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.
Medicines and medical records:
Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
First Aid Kit:
Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet's emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention;latex gloves; isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book.
Collar with ID tag, harness or leash:
Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet's emergency supply kit. In addition, place copies of your pet's registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. You should also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as microchipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
Crate or other pet carrier:
If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation take your pets and animals with you provided that it is practical to do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet's sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use i to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.
A picture of you and your pet together:
If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex color and distinguishing characteristics.
Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
Create a plan to get away:
Plan how you will assemble your pets and anticipate where you will go. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if practical. If you go to a public shelter, keep in mind your animals may not be allowed inside. Consider family or friends willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency, also consider hotels/motels, or a boarding facility (kennel or veterinary hospital).
Develop a buddy system
: Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pet's emergency supply kit. Also designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and another farther away, where you will meet in an emergency.
For more information about how to prepare, visit www.ready.gov
or call 7-800-BE-Ready.