Getting Started with Emergency Preparedness for Pets
If you’re working on being prepared for a disaster, you’re likely setting aside items like food, water, medical supplies, and comfort items for your family. But don’t forget that your pets are part of your household, too, and it’s important to protect them during an emergency. This is why emergency preparedness for pets is a worthwhile task to consider as you try to get ready to face any type of disaster, from a flood or earthquake to a terrorist attack or disease outbreak. Here are some ideas on what to include in your emergency kit if you have pets to protect.
Make Sure You Have Basic Necessities On Hand
No matter what kind of disaster you might be planning for, it’s imperative that you at least have food and water for your pets. You should keep at least three days of pet food in an airtight container, as well as a three-day supply of water for each pet. If your pets use a litter box, have that ready with extra litter and supplies to clean it. If your pets don’t use a litter box, have small baggies and supplies on hand to clean up after them. You should also create a pet first aid kit with medical supplies for animals. These include antibiotic ointment, a roll of bandages, bandage tape, scissors, rubber gloves, saline solution, and any medications your pets take. These items should help in most medical emergencies during any disaster with your pets.
Keep Important Documents Nearby
Another aspect of emergency preparedness for pets involves keeping certain documents on hand. For example, you should keep your pets’ medical records close in case you can find a veterinarian to take them to during the disaster. You should also have vaccination records and registration documents, since questions about these topics may come up during or after the disaster. Basically, if you’ve kept any paperwork that pertains to your pets over the years, you should gather it up into one file and put it in a box with all your other supplies as you figure out emergency preparedness for pets.
Make It Easy for Your Pets to Get Comfortable
You want to keep your pets calm during any disaster, whether you’re facing a flood, hurricane, tornado, or any other type of emergency. This is why part of emergency preparedness for pets includes having some of their favorite things on hand. First, if your pets are used to having a crate or at least a small bed to curl up in, make sure they still have access to those items during a disaster. You should also put some blankets, stuffed animals, and toys in your kit for emergencies. These items should keep your pets calm in a stressful situation. Finally, if you have a picture of you with your pets, put it in your kit. It could help you get reunited with your pets if you get separated at some point.
Now that you have the most important supplies on hand, realize that there’s a chance you’ll have to evacuate your house during a disaster. If so, you’ll likely have a local shelter that will accept you and your family, but they don’t all accept pets. This is why you should finish off your plan for emergency preparedness for pets by either finding out if a friend or relative could take your pets, assuming they’re not affected by the disaster, or by locating nearby shelters that take animals during disasters. You might be able to find a pet-friendly motel that accepts pets during emergencies, as well. Either way, planning ahead is the key to succeeding at emergency preparedness for pets.