Amid rushed evacuations, strong winds, and approaching floodwaters of a disaster, chaos often ensues, forcing families to make impossible decisions about the animals that are part of their families. It’s never easy to leave a pet behind but often, there is no choice.
These situations may not always be preventable but having a plan in place can give your pets their best chance. Keep that plan, and the tools needed to implement it, within an emergency kit tailored specifically to your pet.
Here’s the top 10 items recommended for your kit:
- Food. At least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- Medicines and medical records. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
- Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
- Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
- Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
- Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
- Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
Visit Ready.gov’s Pets and Animals Preparedness page for more information.