Updated: Mar 22, 2019
Living in Texas means unexpected weather can strike at any time. We have collected some great tips and even a checklist for you have a Pet-Friendly Disaster Kit ready to go if you may ever need to evacuate. Waiting to assemble until you need it may cause stress during an already stressful time.
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Food – both wet and dry if you feed both, for at least 7 days for each pet. Store this in an air tight container.
Water – the rule of thumb is to have 1 gallon per pet, per day. While your pet may not need that much, keep an extra gallon on hand to use if your pet has been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
Manual can opener
Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container
Proper identification for each pet including a name tag with a contact phone number
Rabies tag and proof of vaccine for each pet
Microchip numbers for each pet if your pets are micro-chipped; because collars can become loose, this could be the identification your pet may have it he becomes lost. Consider having your pets micro-chipped if they aren’t already.
Cat litter box, extra litter, a scoop, and garbage bags to collect waste
Interactive toys, Kong’s and or bones to keep your pets entertained
Crates/Carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape. Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around and lie down. (Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time.) Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets—who may also need blankets or towels for bedding and warmth as well as special items, depending on their species.
Current up to date photos of you with your pets including descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated—and to prove that they are yours once you’re reunited. Printed, you never know when your phone will loose battery life.
Written information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
Important documents, use a 2 gallon ziplock bag to store medical records. To stay in places on the road you may need to show proof. Try not to rely on your phone, just in case it is not charged.
Familiar items, favorite toys, bedding, a shirt you have worn... this will help reduce stress during this very stressful time.
Sanitation: Cleaning supplies, newspapers, towels, pee pads, and/or paper towels for your pets to use the restroom in case they cannot go outside.
Poop waste bags
Grooming items such as shampoo, brush/comb
Battery powered radio
Consider two kits. In one, put everything your pets will need to stay where you are and make it on your own. The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you and your pets have to get away.
Make a plan in advance. We have put together some ideas to include with your plan.
In times that you need to evacuate.
Plan how you will assemble your pets and anticipate where you will go. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you but know where you can and cannot take them. If you go to a public shelter, keep in mind your pets may not be allowed inside.
Reserving appropriate lodging in advance, maybe as soon as the storm hits a certain status. Sometimes it is sudden, we have included some spots around our area, San Antonio. Depending on the number and type of animals in your care you may want to consider family or friends outside your immediate area who would be willing to take in you and your pets in an emergency.
Tip: Be proactive and have that chat with these people before you need to evacuate.
Some other options may include: a hotel or motel that takes pets or some sort of boarding facility, such as a kennel or veterinary hospital that is near an evacuation facility or your family's meeting place.
Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
Talk with your pet care buddy about your evacuation plans and show them where you keep your pet's emergency supply kit. Tip for everyone, pet parent or not: Designate specific locations, one in your immediate neighborhood and other farther away, where you will meet in an emergency.
You can always talk to your vet about a plan that is designed for you and your family. Here are a few things to discuss.
The types of things you should include in your pet's emergency first aid kit.
Get the names of vets or veterinary hospitals in other cities where you might need to seek temporary shelter.
Also talk with your veterinarian about microchipping if your fur kid isn't already.
If your pet is microchipped, keeping your emergency contact information up to date and listed with a reliable recovery database is the most important part of microchipping.
Gather contact information for emergency animal treatment.
Make a list of contact information and addresses of area animal control agencies including the Humane Society or ASPCA and emergency veterinary hospitals.
Keep one copy of these phone numbers with you, and one in your pet's emergency supply kit.
Obtain "Pets Inside" stickers and place them on your doors or windows, including information on the number and types of pets in your home to alert firefighters and rescue workers. And, if time permits, remember to write the words "Evacuated with Pets" across the stickers should you evacuate your home with your pets. We wouldn't want our first responders to look for pets who are not there.
BE PREPARED FOR WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN
It's important to say informed about what might happen and know what types of emergencies are likely to affect your region.
Be prepared to adapt this information to your personal circumstances and make every effort to follow instructions received from authorities on the scene.
With these simple preparations, you can be ready for the unexpected.
Those who take the time to prepare themselves and their pets will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry. Take the time now to get yourself and your pet ready.
Knowing the actions to take for each type of threat will impact the specific decisions and preparations you make.