Disaster can strike in any form, anywhere and at any time. You and your family may be forced from your home – temporarily or permanently. Responding to and recovering from disaster requires advanced planning. Knowing what supplies to have available, how to evacuate with your pet, where your pet will stay, and how you will meet your pet’s needs through the disaster are all critical components of preparedness.
We hope you’ll check out the terrific “Pet Disaster-Preparedness Kit” suggested by The Humane Society of the United States.
They recommend the following:
- Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. People need at least one gallon of water per person per day. While your pet may not need that much, keep an extra gallon on hand if your pet has been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
- Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit. A pet first aid book is also a good idea.
- Cat litter box, litter, litter scoop, garbage bags to collect all pets’ waste.
- Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape. Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. (Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time.) Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets—who may also need blankets or towels for bedding and warmth as well as special items, depending on their species.
- Current photos of you with your pets and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated—and to prove that they are yours once you’re reunited.
- Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce stress.
- Written information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
They suggest that the following items might also be useful:
- Paper towels
- Plastic trash bags
- Grooming items
- Household bleach
A downloadable PDF of the checklist is available here: Disaster Kit Checklist for Pet Safety