It doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in natural disasters, of some sort, are universal. Nobody likes to think about them, but being prepared is the most important thing you can do!!! My usual plan is: worry a bunch when nothing is happening, make a plan, get prepared, and then hopefully never have think about it again. Here in Florida, hurricanes are our most common threat. We haven’t gotten a bad hit in quite a long time, but we had two little ones pass through last year, and we’ve already had a couple tropical storms blow through this summer. In my lifetime, Florida mostly gets hit in the fall, so it’s that time again when families start going through their supplies and making sure everything is in order. I found this great resource for getting your all your pet’s ducks in a row when it comes to natural disasters. No matter what kind of disasters come your way, be it hurricanes or something else, I can’t stress enough the importance of being prepared, not just you, but your pets too.
I actually found this information at work; I work at a no-kill dog and cat shelter. It was one of those times when I was tired of focusing on work and started looking through all the papers we hand out to guests :), and on the counter was this really awesome resource for disaster preparedness, and I thought it would be a great thing to share. So without further ado, here are some perfect things to add to your family disaster packs. In fact you might even consider making your pets their own backpacks just like yours.
What to Pack
- Pet carrier and bedding
- Food and water (at least three days worth) – This is something you should repack every couple months
- A manual can opener and dishes
- Paper towels and trash bags
- Collar with ID, which includes your cell phone number (The vets might not be open to check microchips, so use an old fashioned ID tag as back up)
- Muzzle / extra harness
- Copy of recent vet visit records and rabies certification
- Extra medication, or copy of prescriptions
- Current photo of you and your pets together (I love this one, because a fellow loving pet parent will want to make sure no one is stealing your pets)
- Pet comfort items, such as a favorite toy or treats
- Pet first aid kit
- Label all pet supplies with your name, address, and phone number
The other side of the page had some great tips for what to do, and things to watch for, after the disaster. Praying that you’ll never need these!
- Watch your pets behavior. It may change after a disaster, and you’re once well mannered pet can become aggressive or defensive. Be aware of the potential dangers associated with this. Keep your pets close and under a careful eye. Make sure they’re on a leash or in a crate. And don’t forget to shower them with some extra love and comfort to let them know everything is going to be okay.
- Be aware of hazards at nose and paw level, particularly: debris, spilled chemicals, and other substances. There are so many things that can end up on the ground that we don’t think of. We have shoes and our faces are normally over five feet off the ground, but not our fur babies. Try to keep one eye on the world as they see it.
- Lastly, once a couple weeks have passed and things begin to settle down, it’s a good idea to go see your vet. Your vet will be able to check for any physical damages you may have overlooked, and can address any behavioral problems that may persist.
I’d love to hear about anything else you add to your pet’s disaster bag. Let me know in the comments!