Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Posted on May 02, 2015 by hannah

Many thanks to the Vermont Disaster Animal Response Team (VDART) for article content.

If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets…

Vermont has the largest per capita rate of pet ownership in the country, with 3 out of 4 residents owning a pet, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Surveys and experience have shown time and time again that pet owners will not leave their pets behind in a disaster, often choosing to risk their own lives to stay behind.

A Fritz Institute poll taken after Hurricane Katrina showed that 44% of the people who chose not to evacuate to safety before the storm did so out of concern for a family pet.

For these and many other reasons, preparing ahead of time is an important key to a safe and happy ending for you and your pets in the face of disaster.

Get Ready Now!

Have an evacuation plan and an emergency kit for you and your pets ready NOW and please ALWAYS take your pets with you. See below for a list of possible supplies including a list of pet friendly hotels. Know where your local emergency pet friendly shelter is located and drive to the site before a disaster happens. During an emergency evacuation order, call “211” to find out if any of the human shelters in your area are pet-friendly.

 

Your Pet’s Emergency Supply Kit

Place items in a backpack or waterproof container in a safe, easily accessible location near an exit to facilitate a quick evacuation. Become familiar with evacuation routes and where your local emergency shelter and pet boarding facilities are located before an emergency occurs. A Rescue Alert Sticker will let first responders know that there are pets inside in case you’re not home when an emergency happens.

Food/Water/Transport

  • Carrier/Crate/Leash and Collar/Muzzle (write your name, and your pet’s name on the carrier along with contact info in case you are separated)
  • Food: 7-10 day Supply (include bowls, canned wet food w/pop tops)*
  • Water: 7-10 day Supply (bottled water/portable water purifier)
  • Medicines with proper labeling (include cooler for prescriptions that need to be refrigerated)*

Identification

  • Vaccination records (particularly rabies)
  • ID tag, and/or microchip ID number and microchip company name & phone number
  • Current photo and physical description (in case you get separated); include: name of your pet, species (cat, dog, rabbit, etc.), breed, age, sex, color, distinguishing traits, and any other vital information about characteristics and behavior

Other Necessities

  • Disposable litter trays  (empty cardboard cat food cases work well), extra litter, scooper
  • Pet first aid kit (available at your local pet store, or online)
  • Comfort items (favorite blanket, toy, treats)
  • Waterproof container
  • Flashlight

Sanitary Items

  • Small garbage bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels
  • Bleach

Items for Other Pets

Birds: In addition to above listed (applicable) items bring cage, blanket to cover cage (to increase warmth and reduce stress), spray bottle in warm weather to mist your bird, catch net, cuttlebone, and timed feeder (optional but helpful)

Small Animals: Cage, water bottle, salt lick, small hideaway box or cardboard tube; two week supply of bedding

Reptiles: Cage, pillowcase, warming device (heat lamp, heating pad), soaking dish

Note: Remember to have a family household emergency supply kit stored in the same spot as your pet emergency supply kit.

*Rotate dry food and medicines every 2-3 months so perishable supplies in your emergency kit don’t expire.

Your Pet’s First Aid Kit

  • Sterile gauze
  • 1st aid adhesive tape
  • Eyewash
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Corn syrup (for diabetics)
  • Styptic Powder (to stop bleeding)
  • Tweezers
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Foil emergency blanket
  • Gauze rolls
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Rectal thermometer
  • Petroleum jelly (as a lubricant for the thermometer)
  • Alcohol (to clean thermometer)
  • Scissors
  • Ice pack
  • Towels
  • Pet carrier
  • Food & water (one week’s worth)
  • Veterinary records

Check the supplies in your first-aid and emergency kits periodically; Remove and replace any items that have expired.