The world has been recently hit by many natural disasters and with Vancouver scheduled to have a big earthquake it’s always best to prepared. We are taught in school, at work, and through the media how to best prepare ourselves but what about our furry friends?
Emergency response teams understand how important it is to prepare for animals as well as humans. They know that humans are more likely to stay behind with their pets if they can’t leave with them, putting themselves in danger. For example, during the evacuation of Hurricane Irma, people with pet carriers weren’t allowed to board on some planes.
It’s not just household pets that need to be either evacuated or contained during large-scale disasters: before Irma, there was concern that alligators and other dangerous animals would get loose from parks, wreaking havoc after the Hurricane. Emergency response teams need to be prepared to evacuate zoos as well.
Here are some tips to create an emergency kit for your pet.
- Identifying information: Keep your pet’s vaccination records, microchip information, your veterinarian’s number, and any other information that could prove useful. Store it in a zip lock bag or other waterproof container.
- Canned Food: Wet food in cans will last longer than dry food, but you should keep airtight containers of dry food around to refill and grab on your way out of your home. Be sure to cycle out canned food from your emergency supply every six months.
- Water: Keep water in containers that won’t break and are air-tight. Don’t forget to include expandable bowls so your pet can eat and drink out of a clean container. You should change this out every six months as well.
- Medications with instructions: Make sure you have at least a month’s worth of medication on hand. You always want to be careful of expiration dates and cycle them out when needed.
- Pet carrier: If you have a smaller pet, purchase a collapsible carrier that can be stored in a backpack in case you need to grab them and get out to a safe location quickly. Otherwise, be sure to store a lightweight plastic or metal crate in an easily accessible location.
- Blankets: If you’re evacuated, you don’t know what type of conditions you might end up in. It can get cold at night so be sure to bring some extra blankets for your pet. Another option is to buy a battery-powered heater.
- Extra leashes: In the event of a disaster, your pet may agitated or upset. Be sure to store extra leashes, treats and toys. If your dog can be aggressive, you might think of a muzzle or other obedience aids.
- A pet first-aid kit: Make a first aid kit similar one for a human. You want to pack tweezers, bandage tape, scissors, bandages, antibiotic ointment, and saline solution.
- Litter pan with extra litter in a sealed container, small plastic bags, handy-wipes. Be sure to carry any of the sanitary items you need depending on your pet.