Having a Pet Disaster Go Kit will save time if you do not have much notice for an evacuation. You can just get your kit, get your pets and then go! But first you need to get your kit ready. Learn how to prepare this kit for your animals. Click here to print Ready Freddie’s kid friendly directions for a Pet Disaster Go Kit.
Imagine you need to evacuate your home. You might only be given a few minutes’ notice – or less. You do not know when you will be able to get back to your house (or if your house will still be standing). What are the most essential things to take?
Of course, you will bring your pet. After all, if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Aside from what you need for your family, what will you need for your pet? (Click here: Family Disaster Go Kit — for information about what to pack for you and your family )
Rather than run around trying to gather up supplies right before you evacuate, you should have a pet emergency evacuation kit pre-packed and ready to go. You can use a duffle bag, tote, or Rubbermaid container. Items should be packed inside waterproof Ziploc baggies to keep things organized and protect them during transport.
Think about what your individual pet needs for you to be self sufficient away from your home for up to 72 hours. Certainly, you need to pack food and water bowls as well as bottled water and food for at least three days. Because these last two items are perishable, you will need to rotate out these items every 3-6 months (check the labels for expiration dates).
In addition to food and water, if your pet is on medication, pack sufficient medicine for 72 hours. Again this is something that is perishable. As many medications have a short shelf life or are too expensive to leave in this kit, you might want to instead tape a note to the outside of the kit listing the medications you will need to pack. You should make copies of important health records such as rabies certificates and vaccine records. Place these papers in a Ziploc baggie and include this in the kit. Talk to your vet about items that you should have in an emergency first aid kit for your pet. Cotton bandage rolls, sterile gauze pads, tape, a topical disinfectant, antibiotic ointment, and exam gloves are a few items to include.
For both dogs and cats, include an extra collar or harness with ID tags and a leash. In addition, consider what familiar items might help decrease your pet’s stress during an evacuation. Place an extra pet bed, blanket or towel in the kit in addition to whatever bedding you have in your pet’s crate or cage. Also include a few toys and/or your pet’s favorite treats (treats may also have to be rotated out along with the food). The short sided cardboard box from a case of soda can be saved and used as a disposable litter box for your kitty. Paper towels or old newspaper can be used as the litter. For dogs, you should place plastic baggies to clean up after your dog relieves herself. Include a few garbage bags as well.
Birds, reptiles and other exotic pets may have other special needs that you must consider. These items may also be hard to replace if the emergency causes the closure of local pet stores. As with dogs and cats, make sure you have sufficient food and water as well as any supplies you need to maintain a healthy environment. If their cage is too large to use for an evacuation, prepare a smaller, portable cage. A dog or cat carrier may also be suitable.
If it is safe to stay put and shelter in place, these supplies will help you care for your pet at home during the emergency or disaster. If it is not safe to stay, then you are ready to grab your kit and go!
Click here to print Ready Freddie’s kid friendly directions for a Pet Disaster Go Kit.