Making Your Pet Part of Your Disaster Preparedness!
Author: Lukas Nicholson
You’ve got your family emergency plans, you’ve reinforced your home security, all your disaster kits are created and in the places they need to be. You have everything covered, and you are doing great for even something as far as a zombie apocalypse. But did any of those plans incorporate a pet?
Some of you might already have it covered, and others might be freaking out that they forgot such a thing! No matter what though, there might be something you missed when it comes to having some disaster plans ready that involve your pets. Pets may not always be the highest on the totem pole when it comes to making sure they are safe with the rest of the family as a concern too, but they should still be important, and often planning ahead of time will save you a lot of problems when a situation does occur.
On top of that, having a pet in an emergency situation can be helpful. Not only do they often provide comfort, but they can be great for protection too, and in cases of staying in your home with your pet, a dog can serve as a wonderful home security system in cases where you have no power.
Having That Pet Kit
Of all the first things you should take care of, it should be either adding pet products to your current disaster kits in the home and car, or creating one specifically for the pet. A separate one for the pet can end up serving you better in cases that you might have to coordinate with other people (like if you are away from home a lot when a disaster might strike). In the kit you should be included things like:
- Copies of important documentations around your pet, like adoption or registration papers.
- Enough food and water for the pet specifically for about a week.
- A first aid kit devoted to pet medications and supplies.
- Sanitation supplies, such as litter boxes and dog or garbage bags, paper towels, and possibly a cleaner that handles animal smells and stains
- Leashes, harnesses, halters, or any kind of lead or something you can use to tie up or keep your pet connected to you.
- A pet carrier, bed, or blanket that is devoted to the pet.
- Entertainment for the pet, such as toys.
- Any written instruction information you might need to include, such as feeding schedules and methods, or medical conditions and what to do about them.
Some people even recommend including a photo of you with your pet, which you should, but you should also make sure you have the same or similar photo on you or with one of your other normal kits. All of this is meant to provide your pet with everything they need, even if it’s not you that is handling them. So keep that in mind when making the kit. And remember these are not all the items you can include.
Creating That Pet Plan
Much in the same way you should have created a family emergency plan, you should also include in that emergency plan something for your pet, or create a separate one for your pet(s). This plan should be focused on what you would do with your pet in certain disaster situations. Such as if there is a tornado and you aren’t at home, would your neighbor get your dog and the pet kit? Having at least two possible outcome for each type of disaster should cover most of the basics.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Try to make sure if your pet goes somewhere the pet kit always comes with.
- Remember it is okay to evacuate your pet to a shelter if you don’t think you’ll be able to handle your pet, make sure that whatever shelter you are bringing the animal to actually handles such emergency situations. If you can aim for family or friends in other regions that can take the animal.
- If your neighbors or nearby friends have animals, consider delegating one person to get the animals or shelter the animals. And also consider using other people in situations that you might not be able to get your pet out yourself.
- Make sure you factor in your family’s emergency plan. If you plan to use a shelter that opens up in your area, remember that they may not always take animals in as well.
Finally even if you have the plan set, remember to actually inform the people involved in the plan. Not communicating that you plan for your friend to get your dog when a flood happens to your friend can put a hamper on that plan. Also if you plan to stay inside your house for something like a flood or tornado, be aware that you have some way to handle what your animal needs, such as going to the bathroom.
About the Author: Lukas Nicholson is a home security specialist and reviewer. He works hard to provide honest home security system reviews and inform others about what they can do to better protect themselves, their family, and their homes.