Pets are often forgotten when it comes to preparing for emergencies and disasters. If pets are part of your household, then they should be part of your disaster plans and preps, as well.
Here are some tips to ensure that no pet is left behind:
- Store food and water for pets – When we’re storing food and water for ourselves, we should also store extra food and water for your pets. The easiest way to do this is to keep an extra bag of dog food on hand at all times. When you buy a new bag, use the stored bag and then store the new bag. This way, it ensures you’re storing the freshest food as some bagged dog food can go rancid quickly. Also store at least an extra gallon of water per day, in addition to the gallon you’re already storing for people.
- Keep emergency first aid supplies for pets – First aid supplies might include: gauze, tweezers, antiseptic towelette, alcohol pads, cotton swabs, tape roll, animal wound spray, healing balm, a print out of your vets information and print out of recent vaccinations. Don’t forget about storing any extra medications that they may take.
- Learn pet CPR – The Red Cross has a great ‘pet first aid’ app that you can download for your smartphone. Learn how to administer first aid and CPR to pets by following the very simple instructions in the app.
- Don’t leave your pets behind – Domestic animals will have a very difficult if not impossible time fending for themselves during a crisis. Make sure to have a plan to take your pets with you if you need to evacuate. If you can’t take them to your evacuation location, ask your vet if they would be available to board animals in a crisis. You could also ask any friends or family if they might be able to take them. If your pets get anxious or are not familiar with riding in a vehicle, secure them in a crate to keep them safe.
- Make a pet go bag/bug out bag – Many people who are prepared have their own ‘bug out bag’ otherwise known as a ‘go bag’ or ’emergency kit’. A go bag should be made for your pet(s) as well. You should include things like: first aid kit/supplies, extra food for 3 days, collapsible bowls for food and water, vaccine and vet information, treats, and maybe a toy if your pet needs a toy. Don’t forget their leash and collar.
If you have livestock that need to be moved such as horses, chickens, goats, etc., you’ll want to make sure you have proper transportation for them to a safe location, as well.
The key to preparing pets for disasters is the same as preparing humans for disasters:
Make a plan!
By making a disaster plan, you’ll know exactly what to do for your household and your pets during an emergency or disaster.
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!