How to Prepare Pets for an Emergency

Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters can occur with little notice. It is important to make sure you are prepared well in advance. If you wait until you are in the moment to gather needed supplies, you may miss something in your haste. We have prepared a simple list of things to consider when making your own emergency plan.

1. Identification
It is important your pet has proper identification. An ID tag on their collar that includes your address or phone number as well as having your pet microchipped can ensure a safe and quick reunion should you become separated from your pet. Place recent photos (from multiple angles) along with a full description of their markings in a waterproof folder.

2. Food & Water
Prepare at least 5 days of food that will keep in a Ziploc bag. Make sure you have potable water for each of your pets. One gallon per person is recommended. However, most pets won’t likely need that much on hand. Don’t forget food and water bowls and a can opener for wet food.

3. Medications & Records
Make sure you have a minimum of two weeks’ worth of any medications you or your pet may need. A 30-day supply would be even better. Keep your pets up to date on all necessary vaccines ahead of time and store a copy of their medical records in waterproof folders. If you need to evacuate to a shelter, you may need to prove their vaccine history before admission.

4. Contacts
Keep a list of all emergency phone numbers including your veterinarian and emergency hospitals. Also take note of pet-friendly hotels, shelters and local boarding facilities in case you need to evacuate your area. If possible, make housing arrangements in advance for you and your pets before a storm hits. Make reservations ahead of time and print out directions.

5. Safety
Locate and keep handy pet carriers, leashes and harnesses, flashlights with extra batteries, weather radio, and first aid kits of the human and pet variety. You will want these things handy in case of injuries, power outages, and emergency travel.

While we hope you never need to take these precautions, but Mother Nature can be unpredictable. It is better to be prepared than to be caught unaware.