Disaster Preparedness for Our Pets


            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:

Local disaster- Your home, street or block is evacuated. Shelter, food and support are readily available and close by. Regional- The whole town/city/region is evacuated. Shelter, food and support are not readily available and are distant. Short term displacement- You are going to return home within less than a week. Long term displacement- You will not be able to return home for a long time or never. Ample transportation and cargo are available. No or very limited transportation and cargo are available.

            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)

·        Feeding containers

·        Extra leash/rope

·        Multi-tool Pocketknife

·        Flashlight

·        Survival kits (as needed)

·        Matches

·        First aid kit containing:

o       Gauze bandages and squares

o       Elastic bandage rolls

o       2 or 3 inch tape

o       Cotton balls

o       Alcohol

o       Hydrogen peroxide

o       Scissors

o       Tweezers

o       muzzle

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 towels

·        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.

Copyright © 2004 - 2013
Yuval Nir
Naperville University Commons Animal Clinic- The-vet.net
1827 Wehrli rd
Naperville , IL , 60565
(630) 544-3333
Veterinarians, Animal hospital