Have you Planned for your Pet?

You have an evacuation plan for yourself. Did you remember your pet?

You know where you're going. You have a bug-out bag ready, stocked with the essential hurricane preparedness gear you'll need to survive in a swamp for 10 days, if you needed to. What about your pet?

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Planning for the worst case scenario is often the best, so you will be over prepared. You may only be gone for 24 hours, but you should plan to be away for a week or more. For hurricane Michael, many people came back to homes that were no longer there. Most people don't take their pets into account, when making emergency plans. Here are some of the actions you take and items we recommend keeping in your bug-out kit, for your fur babies.

  • A carrier large enough for your pet to stretch out and remain comfortable, but also strong enough to keep them confined, should they become aggressive toward volunteers. You should write your pet's name and your contact information on the carrier, in permanent marker.
  • Ensure all of your pets have vaccination records and a collar (or a harness) with tags. You can attach their records to your pet in a sealed bag. Purchase a name tag from a pet store or online, with your phone number, the pet's name and medical needs.
  • Most animal shelters and vet's offices have a microchip reader that can easily identify your pet, should you become separated or lose them. We recommend you microchip your pet, to ensure a more permanent solution to identification.
  • Don't leave your pets outside, during a disaster. Your pet can become frightened and disoriented, not to mention the weather can be dangerous. Don't leave your pet in a kennel or crate, if flooding is expected and DO NOT leave them in a home or tied to something.
  • Your pet's emergency kit should be stored with yours and everyone should know what it is. Clearly label it and make it easy to carry; don't get too complicated. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS). Ensure there are extra leashes, if you have a dog. Your pet's bug-out kit should include:
    • A first-aid kit for pets with a guide book. Your vet should know what to include. 
    • 3-7 days of canned food. We don't recommend dry food, in case it gets wet. Rotate the food every 60 days.
    • Disposable litter trays. Large aluminum roasting pans will work.
    • Litter or paper towels. Puppy pads or bed liners will also work. 
    • Liquid dish soap. Dawn works great.
    • Disposable garbage bags to clean up after your pet.
    • Food and water bowls.
    • An extra collar/harness and leash.
    • Physical copies or a USB drive containing medical records. You can get a waterproof container at academy or a waterproof USB drive. Remember to include details for any medication your pet needs.
    • Two week supply of pet meds. Remember to rotate them out, so they don't go bad.
    • 7 days of bottled water. (do not store in milk jugs)
    • Sturdy travel bag, crate or carrier for each pet.
    • Blanket(s).
    • Keep several recent photos, including markings that will allow you and a volunteer to easily ID your pet.

For the human members of the family, see our downloadable emergency checklist. here.

 Emergencies don't just come in the form of flooding or hurricanes and they can require anything from a couple days away to complete relocation. Preparedness is the key, when staying safe in a disaster. We hope these simple steps will keep you prepared for any future event to come.

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