Emergency Preparedness for Your Pet- Guest Post
Emergency Preparedness for Your Pet
We all know our pets are important members of our household and need to be protected during an emergency. Having an emergency plan for our pets so that they will survive a disaster or emergency of any type is just as essential as having one for ourselves, as they cannot help themselves.
Here is one emergency plan to consider when preparing your pet for an emergency:
• Prepare an emergency care kit for your pet containing the following items:
- Food. Have at least 3 days of emergency food for you and your pets stored in proper storage containers that are airtight and waterproof. Collapsible bowls are an option as they take up less room in your storage container than conventional ones.
- Water. Have at least 3 days of water especially for your pets in addition to the water you would carry for yourselves.
- Your pet’s medicines and medical records. Make sure you have an extra supply of medicines as well as medical records in a waterproof container. Also include a first-aid kit for your pet.
- Collar with I.D. tag, harness or leash. Ensure your pet has a collar with appropriate I.D. tag, license and rabies tag on at all times. In your emergency kit should be a copy of applicable adoption papers and any other pertinent information you think would be beneficial to the one taking care of your pet if you’re not able to.
- Crate or other pet carrier. If you evacuate to a shelter and take your animals with you, the possibility that you will be able to keep your pet may depend on whether you have a crate or carrier. Your carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down in.
- Sanitation. If appropriate, you should include pet litter and a litter box, a pile of newspapers, trash bags, paper towels, and a disinfectant, such as chlorine bleach to clean up behind your pet. The bleach can also be used to purify water, if necessary. Please make sure that you do not use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches, or those with cleaners added as these will be detrimental to your pet.
• Plan for what you will do when an emergency situation occurs:
- Create a plan to get away. Plan how you will assemble your pets and anticipate where you will go. Check in advance if they will be allowed in a public shelter or hotels in the area where they will be welcome. Have a buddy system with neighbors, friends, or family to care for your pets if you cannot.
- Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about emergency planning. Have your vet list what you should put in a first aid kit, including any information about medicines your pet may be taking should you be separated and your pet requires medical attention. If you haven’t micro chipped your pet, it may be wise to do so. Micro chipping can assist in reuniting you with your pet. In addition, have your pet’s information put into a reliable recovery database. By doing these two things, you have a better chance of being reunited with your pet.
- Have additional contact information for emergency animal treatment. Have a list of animal control agencies including addresses and telephone numbers including the Humane Society or SPCA, as well as emergency veterinary hospitals in the area. Keep this with your pet’s emergency supply kit at all times. Get the names of vets and veterinary hospitals in other areas where you might need to seek temporary shelter. Obtain “Pet Inside” stickers for firefighters or law enforcement as well should your pet be left behind.
Be prepared for the unexpected and have an emergency supply kit for both you and your pets in the case of evacuation and remember, what’s best for you is probably what’s best for them.
Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
Comments from Beat The End
Yes that is my dog Rigley and Yes it was extremely hard to get a picture like that. Also sorry for the lacking photoshop skills.
The things above are great and will definitely help in a small scale disaster scenario. In more of a bug out TEOTWAWKI scenario it may be a little different. Especially if you have animals like pigs, cows, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits and other food type animals it is probably best to wait to bug out as long as possible. These animals may be your livelihood at this point so keeping them may be very important to staying alive. So having a bug out plan that takes this into account would be a good plan to make.
Some pets and animals may be more valuable than others so you may have to make some tough decisions as unless there is a purpose for the pet you may have to leave them behind and let them fend for themselves. Our dog Rigley actually brings some things to the table that may help us in TEOTWAWKI. He will at least be a decent watch dog and alert us to problems. The other thing that is a benefit is that Rigley is a Redbone Coonhound, so even though he may not be trained (yet) to hunt his instincts are there and I believe he could help in find and treeing animals. This could at least put some food on the table. One of the problems with Rigley is that being a hound he is quite loud. This may be detrimental in a scenario where silence is valuable.
Some other things I thought of that you may want to have for your animal are:
- Dog Pack: This essentially only works with dogs, and some of the other bigger four legged animals (haven’t seen any for cats). Why should you be doing all the heavy lifting? Dog packs are great because the dog can carry it’s water an supplies. They are normally two side packs so the dog is comfortable, but can carry a decent amount. So if bugging out with a dog these would be a good investment and even just for hikes they can be beneficial.
- Kevlar Vest- Yes they do make bulletproof dog vests that are used by police. They are quite expensive, but may be something to look at if you think you would be in any scenario where you would want a bulletproof vest. These are also good if you may be use the dog to hunt as these vests can stop tusks if hunting pigs or teeth if hunting mountain lions or possibly bear.
- Life Vest- If your bug out plan has a boat involve you may want to get a life vest for those dogs that aren’t the best swimmers.
- Horse Trailer or box trailer- If you must bug out and some of your animals like your chickens, pigs and other things are part of this having a trailer with the capabilities to house the animals could be very beneficial. They could also probably travel quite well in a Toy hauler, while still have living and storage space.
- Training- While we can’t really train animals for a TEOTWAWKI scenario if you have pets that are well behaved and listen this will allow you to not have to focus on the pet, but rather more important issues at hand.
I’m sorry if I didn’t talk about cats. I am not a big cat fan and haven’t seen them to be much help to a survival situation, though just a few days ago a cat did rescue a small child from a dog that was biting him. Other than possibly rat control I think their usefulness would be quite low in TEOTWAWKI.