Considering recent events in Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and California, it’s more important than ever to ensure your pet is safe in any emergency. Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wild fires are inevitable and unexpected. We cannot predict or prevent these devastating events, but we can be prepared for them. The tips below can help you maximize your pets’ safety.
Pet Preparedness Emergency Kit
Pet identification is crucial in the event of an emergency. Make sure your pet has a collar with a tag and a phone number, and make sure your it is microchipped. This goes for cats, too – both outdoor and indoor cats – as indoor cats may escape in these situations. In addition to identification, having a disaster preparedness kit on hand is extremely important. You can buy these or make your own. Here’s what you need:
- Duffle bag or backpack
A brightly colored backpack or duffle is easier to locate.
- Food and water (2-Week Supply)
Depending on how many pets you have, and their size, this may not be feasible. At the very least, you should have enough to last several days.
- Bowls for food and water
- Pet medication (2-Week Supply)
This includes medication for fleas and ticks, heartworm, etc.
- Pet First Aid Kit
- Leash and/or carrier
- Toys, treats, and blankets
These will help with calming your pets and getting their attention if they’re hiding.
- Red Folder that includes:
- Vaccination history
- Medical documents
- Veterinarian phone number
- Emergency contact information
- Printed photo of you with your pet
In hurricane relief efforts, American Pet Nutrition has donated 460,000 of pet food and fed close to 33,000 pets. “By supplying food to pet families during an emergency, we’re able to keep more pets with their families,” said John Kaine, development director of GreaterGood.org. “But equally important, helping pet families care for their pets can provide significant motivation for the family to stay in the affected area during the recovery and rebuilding phases of an emergency.”
Most households in America have pets, so safety and preparedness in time of disaster is extremely important. For more information and other tips, visit the American Red Cross website, or download the American Red Cross Pet First Aid App by texting ‘GETPET’ to 90999.