Do You Have a Disaster Plan for your Pets?

When you developed your family emergency plan, did you include a plan for your pets?  It’s important to include provisions for your pets because they depend on you for care.  Pets also can provide psychological comfort after an earthquake or other disaster.

Plan: What will You Do in an Emergency?

Create a plan to get away. Secure appropriate lodging in advance. Know where you and your pet will be going after an emergency. Develop alternate plans: Have pre-planned boarding information for your pets in case you are sick, injured or have to evacuate during a disaster. Keep current documentation: It is a good idea to maintain current records for each of your pets. During disasters this information is useful in the event your pet is missing or taken to a shelter.

Prepare: Make a Pet Disaster Kit

You should have the following items assembled and ready to take in a crisis (keep in a duffel bag or sturdy container in a spot where it’s handy to grab): Wire cage or carrier with good air circulation, along with bedding and cover for sun, rain, ash, etc. and/or sturdy leashes and harnesses or collars, with a ground mounting device or carabiner for tying pets up temporarily. Food, water (for several days), bowls, cat litter, pooper scooper, can opener. Several days supply of Medications (including anti-stress remedies) recommended by your vet.

Name and number of your veterinarian; information on feeding schedules, vaccination dates, medical and behavioral problems, and any other special issues your pet may have (attach to the cage in a waterproof, chew-resistant bag). Outside contact information: your own, plus someone who can take custody of your pets if you are unable to do so (also attach to carrier), as well as an out of state contact. Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.

* Horses require their own unique evacuation plan, establish pre-designated plans before an emergency.  Please refer to evacuating horses.

For more Pet Preparedness tips, please visit the following websites:

www.hsus.org (The Humane Society), www.prepare.org (American Red Cross) and www.ready.gov (Department of Homeland Security).

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