The 9-11 World Trade Center disaster, the tsunami and hurricane
Katrina left all of us with Apocalyptic images and painful hearts.
The magnitude of death and destruction were overwhelming and hard to
comprehend. Manmade and natural catastrophes are realities that we
have to face and for which we must be prepared.
But what about out pets? Are we ready to save them too?
When disaster strikes, or preferably before it does, you need to
quickly pack and go. Prepare an emergency evacuation plan and
emergency kits for all family members, including your pets. Post
emergency instructions in a conspicuous place and include directions
and contact information in case you are not at home and somebody
else needs to rescue your pets. Make sure pets are clearly
identified and that the ID/information tracks back to you. Microchip
or tattoos are excellent permanent IDs. Collars and ID tags are also
very useful. Have leashes, carriers and cages for all pets. Keep
vaccinations current and a month's supply of needed medications and
specific health care supplies, along with medical instructions. Also
prepare a list of local, regional and state shelters, kennels,
veterinarian and emergency clinic addresses and phone numbers.
Be ready for different scenarios such as:
You need a minor (for short term) and a major (for long term) pet
displacement kit. In any case pack only the essentials. Do not
forget first aid kit.
The minor kit should include:
· Carry-on water
bottle of at least a gallon capacity.
· Food (as needed
for up to a week)
· Survival kits
· First aid kit
o Gauze bandages and
o Elastic bandage rolls
o 2 or 3 inch tape
o Cotton balls
o Hydrogen peroxide
The major pack is an add-on to minor kit:
· More dry food
in sealed packaging (as much as possible but at least for 2 weeks).
· More water (at
least 4-5 gallons)
· Blankets and
· Camp light
Your specific disaster plan and kits should address your location
and particular needs. Your veterinarian can help you address your
pet medical and first aid issues.
Disaster readiness can significantly reduce trauma and suffering to
your pets and your family and enhance your recovery.