Friday, July 17, 2009

Pet Emergency Supply Kit

Everyone knows that all families should prepare a plan in case of emergencies. Many times, people forget to include their pets in the emergency plan. Hurricane Katrina was proof of what disastrous things can happen to people when a real emergency occurs. Katrina also made the public aware of the plight of thousands of abandoned pets left behind who starved, contracted diseases, and died. A family pet should be considered during an emergency also.

I realize that not all pets can be saved during a fire, hurricane, terrorist attack, or flood and that the members of the family come first, but an emergency plan for pets would certainly give pets a chance.

The Department of Homeland Security released a pamphlet that describes the steps that should be taken when preparing a pet for emergencies. The first step is to prepare a Pet Emergency Supply Kit.

  • Make an Emergency Pet Supply Kit – If possible, prepare two kits. One of the kits should contain enough food and water to stay at home until help arrives. The other pet supply kit should contain about three days worth of food and water. These should be packed into airtight containers that can be easily carried with you in case you have to leave home.

  • Medicine – If your pet takes any kinds of medication, pack this into an airtight, waterproof container also.

  • First Aid Kit – A first aid kit for pets includes just about the same supplies you would pack for your family. These items include: rolls of bandage, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic cream, flea and tick prevention, gloves, and alcohol swabs.

  • Leash and Collar – Make sure you pack and extra collar with ID tags fastened to it and a leash. Make copies of all your pet’s vaccinations and license number in a waterproof container. If your pet has a microchip, include the microchip number in the bag. If you haven’t done so already, it is a good idea to have your pet micro chipped. It is inexpensive and can be done right at your vet’s office.

  • Crate and Carrier – Have an extra pet carrier ready in case you have to move fast. Have a crate ready for larger animals and take them with you if you can.

  • Pet Litter and Trash Bags – Prepare a portable litter box and bag of litter. For larger pets, pack trash bags for disposing of waste. Include a small bottle of bleach for sanitation purposes.

  • Photo of Pet – Put a picture of your pet in the supply kit. If you should get separated, it is easier to show a photo of your pet than try to describe it.

  • Favorite Item – Choose your pet’s favorite small item and include it in the emergency kit. Having something familiar relieves your pet’s stress and excitement.