How to Prepare Your Pets for Disaster

Mike Washington

From leashes for Fido to carriers for Kitty, here are our top disaster preparedness for pets tips to add to your emergency planning now.

Being prepared for a disaster isn’t just about being able to execute a plan for yourself, it’s about prepping for the entire family: furbabies and all. And because cats and dogs don’t always follow directions in stressful situations, doing disaster preparedness for pets before a storm arrives is critical.

Here are our top tips on how to prepare to take care of your pet if disaster strikes.

Prepare to Restrain Pets During a Disaster 

Have leashes and harnesses in dependable locations at all times. Being able to grab a leash and go or keep your pet at your side during a disaster is absolutely essential. And, since disasters typically strike without warning, knowing at all times where a leash can be found is key being prepared. When moving about on foot, having a trusty leash or restraint to keep your pet close to you will allow you both to move to safety quickly. Our top tip on disaster preparedness for pets then is to have a leash at the ready and ready to use it.

When it Come to Disaster Preparedness for Pets, the ID is Key

Make sure pets are wearing collars with securely fastened current identification at all times. If your pet doesn’t wear a collar or ID tag while roaming about your home, it’s important to have one that you can put on your pet quickly in times of emergency.

If you get separated from your pet during a disaster, having their name and your contact info displayed clearly somewhere on them can be the deciding factor in how quickly you can be reunited.

Pack a Go Bag for Fido and Fluffy

Humans aren’t the only ones who need a disaster kit: pets deserve an emergency kit, too. Whether it’s a small bag that fits inside your own kit, or a standalone backpack they carry themselves, every pet should have a go bag with at least three days worth of food and a copy of their medical records inside.

Anticipate your pet needs (or wants) and put it in their emergency kit. Does your pet require special medications? Does your pet not do well walking on certain surfaces and require special little pet booties for their paws? Whatever special needs your pet has, think ahead so that you can accommodate your pet.

Food, water, meds if needed: Think ahead to what it will be like to feed and care for your pet on the go. Keep whatever you pack in your pet’s go-bag light and mostly to the essentials: items like toys can easily take up valuable space, though having a favorite toy or stuffy on hand may give them addedd comfort during scary times.

Crates and Carriers Save Lives in Emergencies

Have a carrier for smaller pets and a crate for bigger pets. Having a pet carrier makes shuttling four-legged friends around quicker and easier. Plus, being able to place your pet inside of a carrier and move it quickly when the order to evacuate comes save you precious time. And, having a crate on hand that your pet can be secured in will make it easier for you to lodge at an emergency shelter, should the need arise. So, the best plan for disaster preparedness for pets includes a way to contain them.

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