Disaster Preparedness Kit for Pets

Here in Central Florida, hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30, with the peak periods in August through October. While many of us prepare with kits of canned food and water, we may overlook the needs of our furry family members during a crisis.

Even if you’re reading this in the midst of the season, it’s never too late to consider your plans during a natural disaster. 

Dark-grey cat is looking at the rain through the windowThe key to preparing for a natural disaster is to develop a Disaster Preparedness Kit for Pets. Like your families Preparedness Kit, you’ll want to consider every possibility in the event a hurricane strikes. For your pets, you’ll want to include:
  • Medicine and Medical Records: In the event you must flee your home, or a pet is injured and your vet is not available, you’ll want to keep a copy of your pets medical records for any available vet to review. Additionally, you’ll want to keep a supply of any medications your pet is required to take for up to 5 days.Place the records and medications in a water proof container.
  • Current Photos of Your Pets: In the event your home is damaged and your pet escapes or otherwise runs away, you’ll want to have a printed photo of your pet. Better yet, include a photo of you and your pet.Remember, all those Facebook photos of Fluffy and Fido are useless if there is no power to charge a device or long into your computer. Print the photos and keep them with your medical records.
  • Food and Water: Measure and package food into servings and collect gallons of water. Consider the amount you need sustain your pets for 5 days. Label the food bags if your pets eat different amounts or foods in the AM and PM.
  • Litter boxes, Litter and Scoop: Pack a container that can be transported to a hotel containing your cat’s litter box needs. Consider using a disposable container for the litter box.In 2004, I used an aluminum cooking pan (the type you would use to bake a turkey, purchased at a grocery store) in place of a large, bulky plastic box. This saves space and works in a pinch.
  • Leashes, Collars, Harnesses and Carriers: Have your pets daily travel supplies standing by and easily accessible. Make sure the leashes and harnesses are not torn or worn.In the event of a natural disaster, your dog will be anxious and scared. The last thing you want to deal with is a leash, harness or collar breaking as you’re trying to leave.Additionally, make sure your cats carrier closes securely and theres no hangups for the zipper to close tightly.
  • Update Tags and Chips: Have you moved? Changed phone numbers? Your pet’s collar tags and microchip information doesn’t update it’s self. Take a moment to ensure both items list your current information.List of Pet Care Contacts: Our Pet First Aid and CPR students receive a contact card as homework to be completed when they get home that day. It is a resource to list vet, pet sitter, poison control and shelter phone numbers, which can be carried in a wallet or pocket.If you haven’t taken our class, make sure to carry a physical list of this information to easily access your pet’s important numbers.
Once you’ve created this basic Disaster Preparedness Kit for Pets, take a moment to consider you pet’s specific needs. Are there toys, blankets or a kennel that would make them feel more safe or calm?
Supplements? Poop bags? Make your kit reflect the actual needs of your pets. Now that you’ve created your kit, keep it in an obvious place like a closet near your front door or by your vehicle in the garage.
For more ideas about keeping pets safe and sound during accidents or disasters, consider taking our Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR class or our Pet Tech PetSaver class. Information can be found by clicking here.

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