Amid rushed evacuations, strong winds, and approaching floodwaters of a disaster, chaos often ensues, forcing families to make impossible decisions about the animals that are part of their families. These situations may not always be preventable but having a plan in place can give your pets their best chance of staying safe during and after a hurricane. Keep that plan, and the tools needed to implement it, within an emergency kit tailored specifically to your pet. Here’s the top 10 items recommended for your kit:
- Food. At least a three-day supply in an airtight, waterproof container.
- Water. At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- Medicines and medical records. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
- Important documents. Registration information, adoption papers and vaccination documents. Talk to your veterinarian about microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.
- First aid kit. Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is a good idea too.
- Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and a leash.
- Crate or pet carrier. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.
- Sanitation. Pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you. Add species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
- Familiar items. Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding can help reduce stress for your pet.
Visit Ready.gov’s Pets and Animals Preparedness page for more information.