National Preparedness Month is about working to become better prepared in the case of a disaster or an emergency and having a plan to better protect yourself and your pets. Are you ready for an emergency situation in your house?
Do you pets have plans that address their own needs but maybe haven’t thought about yours?
Reilly here! I am lucky enough to not have needed to use a disaster kit yet in my life. However, we do have one at the ready in case anything were to happen. Disasters are not limited to just weather related incidents. You can also use your pre-made kit in case of fire, flood, or power loss.
If you make your own kit, what should you make sure is included? Well according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the ASPCA, these are the top things to include:
- Food – Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container. (of course food is 1st!)
- Water – Store at least three days of water specifically for yourself in addition to water your pets need for themselves.
- Medicines and medical records – Keep an extra supply of medicines you take on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
- First aid kit – Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a first aid reference book.
- Collar with ID tag, harness or leash – You should wear a collar with your rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your emergency supply kit. In addition, place copies of your registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. You should also consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as microchipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. You should also put a picture of you and your pets just in case you get separated and need to find them
- Crate or other pet carrier – If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation make sure you go with your pets and other housemates provided that it is practical to do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transportation. The carrier should be large enough for you to stand, turn around and lie down.
- Sanitation – Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.
- Familiar items -Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.
You can also choose to buy a pre-made dog disaster kit. There are ones made just for cats (hey, we aren’t their friends but we know some pets like them). Some are prepared just for dogs. And some even come with a disaster kit for you and two of your pets! Isn’t that nice?
Whatever method you choose, make sure everyone in the house knows what the plan is. Also important, designate who is going to be responsible for all of the animals in the house! That way no one gets left behind!