September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is Disasters: Don’t Wait. Regardless of where you live, there is a risk for a natural or man-made disaster. From fires, earthquakes and tornadoes to blizzards, hurricanes, floods and more, every region of the country is vulnerable to a catastrophic event.
Should you need to evacuate or become stranded for days, having a plan in place for your pet(s) that includes a ready-to-go kit of everything they need can help reduce stress and save precious time.
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A PET DISASTER KIT:
- A week’s worth of food and water for each pet
- Disposable food and water bowls
- Plastic spoons
- Puppy training pads – for lining carriers, use in hotel rooms, protecting seats and floors in the car, etc.
- Disposable litter box – Kitty’s WonderBox
- Cat litter
- Pet wipes for cleaning paws, mouths, fur – Earthbath makes excellent products that are widely available
- Treatibles Topical Cream – for cuts, scrapes, bites and achy joints. Great for dogs, cats and even you!
- Styptic powder to stop bleeding from nicks and cuts
- Your pet’s prescriptions and supplements
- Treatibles chews and oils to help your pet remain calm, emotionally balanced and at ease
- A blanket
It’s important to have your pet’s carrier ready to go. Make sure it is cleaned, lined with training pads and a clean towel.
PLANNING FOR AN EVACUATION
Determine appropriate locations to evacuate to:
- Friend or Family Member’s House – be sure your friend or family member understands your pet(s) will be with you.
- Local Shelter – research their pet policy now. Many accept pets, however, they are housed in a different area than their humans. Most shelters require proof of vaccines.
- Hotel – create a list of chains that welcome pets, which pets they allow and if there are any restrictions. Hotel Guides is an excellent resource
Keep in mind that evacuation is not always an option. Many disasters cannot be predicted. It is still important to have a plan and protocols in place. After a major event, it is common to be stranded or without basic services for days or weeks at a time. Having the proper supplies on hand for your pet(s) will make things a bit easier. In addition:
- Know where in your house everyone including your pets will be safest during the event
- Familiarize yourself with basic procedures for pet first aid
- Items to help keep you and your pets as comfortable as possible – generator, battery operated fan, cooler, sterno set, candles, flashlight and batteries
While we cannot plan for every scenario, we can do our best to ensure our pets are fed, hydrated, safe and comfortable.