Summer has proven to be a very busy season for natural and manmade disasters from wildland fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and the ever unpredictable earthquake. It is a good time to prepare yourself and your animals for the unexpected.Animals depend on people for their survival during a disaster, but planning for your pet doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. There are two critical steps to ensure the safety of your animals if you must evacuate with them in the event of a disaster:
- Prepare – Have a safe way to transport your animals and have supplies gathered in one location that can be easily accessible.
- Plan – Know where you can take your animals if you had to be away from your house for any given amount of time. And appoint someone to evacuate your animals if you are not home when a disaster strikes.
To prepare for a disaster you should put together an animal disaster supply kit with everything you’d need to care for your animals for at least 72 hours. The contents will vary depending on the type and number of animals in your care, but every kit should include the following basic items:
Food and Water. Keep a 3-day supply in an airtight container and be sure to rotate this supply periodically to ensure freshness.
Containment and control supplies. Pack a leash, carrier or crate to safely control and confine your pet.
Current photos of your animals. Include a photo of yourself with your animals if case you need to prove ownership.
Collar and ID. Make sure you have a secure collar and up-to-date ID tag on your animals.
Sanitation Items. Include litter, litter box, newspapers, plastic bags, disinfectant, and basic first aid supplies.
Vet records and medications. Copy vaccination records and set aside a supply of daily medicines.
It takes less than a day’s effort to put together a plan for you and your animals in the event of a disaster, a day’s effort that could potentially save you and your animals' lives.
If you found this information helpful, please support SPCA International so that they can educate more people about disaster preparedness for their pets and save more animals' lives this disaster season.