Pets & Emergency Preparedness
If you need to evacuate your home it is best to take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive more than a few days on their own, and its often difficult to know if or when you might be allowed back inside your home.
Make sure your pet is tattooed or microchipped for identification purposes. After the flood in New Orleans, less than 20% of pets were reunited with their families.
Pet owners should make an emergency survival kit that is readily accessible in case of an evacuation. This kit should include the following:
- Food & Water: Keep at least three days of pet food in an airtight waterproof container. Store at least three days of water specifically for your pet, in addition to what you might need for yourself and family.
- Medicine: Keep an extra supply of medicine that you pet takes in a waterproof container.
- Pet First Aid Kit: Most kits should include bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointments, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution.
- Identity: Make sure your pet is wearing their rabies tag. Keep a backup leash and collar with ID tags in your emergency kit. Also add a copy of your pet’s vaccination and medical records in a waterproof container. Also include a picture of you and your pet together, in case you are separated or need to prove ownership.
- Pet carrier: If you need to evacuate, transport your pets in a sturdy, safe, comfortable carrier. This carrier should be big enough to allow your pet to stand up, and to turn around inside. Also add a couple of blankets and a few familiar toys. Make sure each pet has their own carrier.
- Sanitation: Add pet litter and a litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, and plastic trash bags.
When you return home after an emergency keep your pet on a leash, as familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets may be stressed.