I’ve lived in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey and California. Each of these states brings with it some sort of natural disaster threat…flooding, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, blizzard, wildfire and more! It was when I lived in California that I started taking the idea of being prepared for an emergency more seriously, but now that I share a home with Gibson, my dog nephew, it’s that much more important to have a plan.
I recommend using the advice of Franz Kafka, “It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.”
When an emergency arises, stress and some chaos come with it. Sometimes being able to think clearly goes out the window, so the less you need to do, the more smoothly and quickly you can get you and your pets to a safe place.
Do you have an emergency grab and go pack for your pets? If not, now’s a great time to put it together.
Here’s a list of things you may want to include.
Food for several days (consider the number of pets you have) packed in a waterproof, airtight container
Water for several days
Medications for each pet packed in a waterproof, airtight container
Up-to-date Vaccination Records
Extra collar, tags and leash
ID with your contact information
Recent photo of you with your pets together for visual identification
List of Important Phone Numbers: Vet, nearest emergency Vet Clinic, Pet Poison Control Hotline, nearby boarding kennels, local animal control, local animal shelters
Food and water bowls (perhaps collapsible or that are weighted and don’t tip easily)
Pet’s favorite toys
Pet carrier/crate to keep pets contained and controlled (or perhaps a pop-up tent/crate)
Grooming items like shampoo, brush, comb
Towels and washcloths to bathe them if they get dirty
Kitty litter and pan
Animal Medical Kit:
Tweezers, gauze, bandages, tongue depressors (use as splints), styptic powder to stop bleeding, scissors, alcohol, antiseptic cream, hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds or induce vomiting, pantyhose to use as a flexible wrap that keeps them from licking wounds and ointments, rubber gloves
Here are some additional tips and ideas!
Involve the entire family in the planning and gathering of items
Put everything you can in airtight and waterproof containers (plastic zip top bags or containers with tight fitting lids)
Get duplicates of your pet’s favorite toys and put that (rather than the one they play with daily) in the grab and go pack.
Keep the grab and go pack accessible (rather than under things in the closet or garage)
Consider having animal medical kits in every vehicle
Periodically check the most current medications are packed and that they are not expired.
When new vaccinations are given to your pet, immediately put a copy of the new records in the pack.
Leave a key with a trusted neighbor in case you aren't home and pets need to be evacuated
This is quite a list so you can see why it’s important to plan ahead! These items are a guide and you will want to add (or take out) what’s most suitable for your fur family!
My wish is that you are never faced with an emergency where you will need to grab and go, but there’s comfort in knowing you can be ready and not need to worry about gathering all of this when time is critical. I hope this information is helpful and makes preparation easier for you and your family.