6. Emergency Preparedness For Pet Owners

In areas of the country where natural emergencies often occur, it is likely the pet owner has an emergency kit ready for pet evacuation.  There are many pet owners, however, who have never put together an emergency kit for their dog or cat.

The number one emergency in households is a fire.  Weather also causes many emergencies, from power outages to severe damage from wind or water.  Often owners are forced to leave the premises during these events.  In addition to grabbing important things for the human member of the family, a pet care package should be handy and available on short notice as well.

  • Keep this kit stocked at all times, and have it in an easily accessible place along with your own. Include in it basic items for pet care:
  •  Dry and/or canned food, dishes and water – for canned food, don’t forget to include a manual can opener.
  •  A collar or harness and leash for a dog or small cat carrier (even a pillow case or soft-sided travel bag will work to control a cat or small dog temporarily).
  • Cat litter box (even a low cardboard box can be used temporarily) and cat litter.
  • Towels or other comfortable bedding.
  • Veterinary and health records, including recent vaccine records.
  • Recent pictures of your pets in case they become lost or escape.
  • A first-aid kit.  Both for humans and for pets.
  • Any medications the pet may need, or a written prescription that can be filled at a pharmacy.
  • A list of pertinent telephone numbers: the veterinary hospital, local shelters, animal control, friends, or other important pet numbers you use; consider identifying which local hotels would accept pets if needed.
  • Toys and chewy things that help keep the pet occupied and calm.
  • Plastic bags and paper towels for an emergency clean up.

Place these items in a plastic carrying container and put it in a back pack or duffel bag, then label it “Pet Emergency Kit.”  Hopefully you will never need it, but if a disaster forces you to leave quickly, the basic supplies to keep the four-legged family member happy and safe will be ready.

Yes, my family has one all ready for me.  They grabbed it along with theirs the day pof the earthquake just in case.  We didn't need them but was comforting to know they were ready.

I tried to get into it to make sure everything was there (really to get the treats and toys I knew were there and got my squeaky dog for a little bit) but they reaured me it was all ok. Maybe next time.