Disaster Prep Kits: What You Need to Keep Your Pets Safe
Since September is Disaster Preparedness Month, we want to take the time to make certain that you and your furry family members have everything you need in case of a life-threatening emergency. One of the best ways to do this is to create a disaster prep safety kit with all of the necessary supplies should any type of disaster affect your community.
To help you create your home’s prep kit, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has provided the following checklist of items to include:
Plenty of food and water. You’ll want to plan for three to seven days’ worth of food and bottled water per pet. Make sure that the food is in airtight containers and that you have the necessary supplies such as a serving bowls and a manual can opener.
Any necessary medications. If your pet is on any medications, be sure to have some extra packed away—particularly because you may not be able to reach your veterinarian in the event of a disaster. Remember that food and medication need to be regularly rotated out of your emergency kit to avoid spoiling or expiration.
First aid kit. It’s important to have a pet first aid kit, which can be purchased through most pet retailers or can be assembled at home. The APCC recommends the inclusion of the following items in your pet first aid kit:
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Up-to-date shelter information and travel-ready equipment. In case of an evacuation, you’ll want to make sure you have a current list of the shelters, boarding facilities, hotels/motels or even family members and friends that will allow your pets a safe place to stay until the dangers have subsided. Consider keeping this list of contacts stored in your phone as well as printed or stored on a USB drive and kept in your prep kit. Don’t forget to have your pets’ carrier(s) ready and available.
Leash, harness, collar and appropriate identification tags. Animals can often get frightened and bolt during emergencies, so make sure that your pet always has a secure collar with the appropriate identification attached.
Important information and documents. In addition to the shelter contacts, keep your veterinarian’s information, the contact information of the local animal control, boarding facilities, emergency veterinary clinics and the Animal Poison Control Center on hand. You should also have a copy of your pets’ medical records, rabies registration, their microchip number and company information, as well as a current picture. You can keep this on your phone or computer, but it’s also advisable to keep paper copies in a waterproof bag.
Sanitary solutions. Litter, newspapers and a litter box for cats are crucial. Also, include disposable bags for cleanup, liquid dish soap and disinfectant. Consider including pee pads for puppies and smaller dogs as well.
Comforting extras. Emergency situations are stressful on both you and your pets. Don’t forget to include their favorite blankets, bedding or toys to calm them and make them feel more comfortable.
Plan of action. Make a plan with your family members or roommates about where to meet and how to get in touch if disaster strikes. Also, make sure everyone is aware of where your emergency supplies and kits are located.
Keep in mind: By placing an ASPCA Pet Alert sticker in your window or on your front door, you are letting emergency responders know that there may be pets inside the house. Sign our Disaster Preparedness Pledge to receive a free pet safety decal today.
Taking these extra precautions now will help you remain healthy and safe all year-round.