This article appears in Disaster Prep 2018.
Just like you think about your family’s health and safety, your pet needs to be prepared for disasters, too. Pets could die if left behind during evacuations.
Follow these tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
Rescue alert stickers
Let rescue workers know there’s a pet in the home with a sticker placed visibly on or near the front door listing types and number of pets in your home, as well as the name and number of your veterinarian.
Arrange safe haven
Not all shelters accept pets. Ask your veterinarian for a list of kennels or facilities or see if your local shelter will provide emergency foster care. Some hotels also accept pets, or ask friends or relatives if your pet is welcome along with the family.
Pets should wear collars with tags with the pet’s and your name and contact information. The ASPCA recommends pets be microchipped for permanent identification.
A pet “evac-pack” should include:
— Pet first-aid kit
— Three to seven days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food
— Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans)
— Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
— Disposable garbage bag
— Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
— Extra collar or harness and extra leash
— Photocopies and/or USB drive of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
— At least seven days’ worth of bottled water
— A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
— Recent photos of pets (in case you are separated)
— Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoopable litter
— Especially for dogs: Toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner