If there is one thing we have learned from the pandemic – it is that emergencies can come in many forms and happen when we least expect it. It's important to prepare both yourself and your pets for a potential emergency. If you grew up in an area with hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural disasters, you've likely been told to make sure your family has an emergency plan in case of danger. These plans do not just apply to the occasional storm - creating emergency plans for events like a house fire are vital too. Make sure you not only have a plan for the humans of your household but for your beloved pets as well.
What is National Pet Preparedness Month?
Every June serves as a reminder that in case of an emergency, you want to make sure your pet is as safe as possible so you can focus on dealing with the crisis. It is crucial to evaluate your emergency plan every year to ensure it is up to date to reflect any life changes that may have occurred, such as moving homes. Keep reading to find out how to prepare a pet emergency kit to keep your furry friends safe.
How to Prepare for Natural Disaster with Your Pet
There are many ways you can relieve some stress for your future self should a disaster occur. Here are a few tips to abide by so that you and your pets are prepared, should the worst happen.
1. Take Recent Photos of Your Pet
Emergencies can cause a lot of chaos. If your pet gets lost, make sure you have a recent photo of your cat or dog so you can use it to identify your animal to people or through posters.
2. Local Resources
Make a list of contact information for local vets, pet hotels, shelters, and friends or family that would be willing to watch them if you are unable.
3. Pet Emergency Kits
Probably one of the most important things you can do to prepare for an emergency is to create a pet emergency kit or go bag that contains the absolute essentials your pet will need if you encounter a disaster.
What Should Be in a Pet Emergency Kit?
Here are the essential items that should go in your pet's emergency kit. Emergency kits should be prepared for both cats and dogs in case of an immediate emergency or natural disaster.
1. At least a week of food
Preferably something shelf-stable so it can last for a long time. Set a reminder on your phone when the food is about to expire so you know when to replace it.
Cat tip: If you use cans, make sure they are pop-top lids, so you don't have to deal with a can opener
2. Bottled Water
Keep a few sealed and unopened water bottles around. Filling up a reusable bottle and leaving it for a prolonged time can lead to bacteria growth, so bottled water is the recommendation here.
3. Food & Water Dishes
If you haven't already done so, invest in some collapsible dishes. These are not only handy if you are dealing with an emergency but if you are ever out with your pet for an extended period of time.
4. Medications / Medical Records
Having a physical record of shots and medical issues can streamline a lot of things later on.
5. Litter items
During a crisis, you do not want to have to worry about your pet doing their business. Therefore, make sure you have extra poop bags for dogs, as well as a big cat litter pan and a bag of extra litter if you have a cat.
6. Extra Leash & Collar/Harness
However much you want to, you won't be able to hold your pet 24/7, especially when you have an emergency to deal with.
If you have to leave home for a few days during an emergency, having a carrier can help with transporting your pet during stressful situations where a leash doesn't work.
8. First Aid Kit
Your pet's first aid kit can include anything you deem necessary, such as bandages, gauze and even tweezers in case your buddy gets a harmful splinter. If you are stuck deciding on what to include in the first aid bag, you can buy ready-to-use pet first aid kits online.
A few extra items to include in your kit:
1. Clean-up supplies
If your pet tends to make a mess when under stress or in new places, bring some cleaning supplies like paper towels and disinfectant sprays. These can go a long way.
2. Comfort items
If able, bring a small bag of treats or their favorite toy to help keep them calm so that you can focus on the emergency.
Be Prepared for Natural Disasters with Open Farm
Written by: Emily Balogh