HOW TO MAKE A PLAN FOR YOUR PET IN CASE OF A CATASTROPHIC EVENT
No matter where you live in the United States, there is always the chance of a natural or man-made disaster. From floods, earthquakes and tornadoes to blizzards, hurricanes, fires and more, every region of the country is vulnerable to a catastrophic event.
June 1 marks the beginning of Hurricane Season. Here in Florida, officials and media are relentless in driving home the importance of having a plan in place. They stress how much easier it is to do this before there is an actual disaster in sight.
This is also true for pets. Imagine how much easier it will be to simply grab a ready-to-go bag with all the supplies your pet will need should you need to evacuate or become stranded for days.
PLANNING FOR AN EVACUATION
Determine appropriate locations to evacuate to:
Friend or Family Member's House
Make sure your friend or family member understands your pet(s) will be with you.
Find out their pet policy NOW. Many accept pets, however they are housed in a different area than their humans. Most shelters require proof of vaccines.
Know which chains welcome pets, which pets they allow and if there are any restrictions.
There are some excellent online guides like this one from Hotel Guides.
HAVE BASIC PET SUPPLIES READY TO GO
Enough food for each pet for at least a week
Freeze-dried foods are great for this – lightweight and easy to prepare (just add water). I recommend incorporating freeze-dried foods as part of your pet’s regular diet.
Enough water for a week
Disposable food and water bowls/dishes
First aid salves/ointments
Puppy Training pads
For lining carriers, using in hotel rooms, protecting seats and floors in the car, etc.
Disposable litter box and litter
Kitty's Wonderbox is a great box option. It is sturdy and completely biodegradable.
Gentle, fragrance-free grooming wipes by Earthbath are fabulous for cleaning paws, mouths, fur, etc.
Styptic powder to stop bleeding from nicks and cuts
Any prescriptions/supplements your pet needs
At least one Calming solution
In addition, have carriers ready to go. Make sure they are clean, lined with puppy pads and towels.
Keep in mind that evacuation is not always an option. Many disasters cannot be predicted. It is still important to have plans and protocols in place. After a major event it is common to be stranded or without basic services for days or weeks at a time. Having the proper supplies on hand (for your pets and you) will ease some of the stress.
Know where in your house everyone including your pets will be safest during the event
The AVMA offers an excellent guide.
Items to help keep you and your pets as comfortable as possible
Battery operated fan
While we cannot plan for every scenario, we can do our best to ensure our pets are fed, hydrated, safe and comfortable.