Unfortunately, natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and wild fires are an inevitable part of life. And while we can’t prevent them, there are things we can do to be prepared for these devastating events.
The first thing you can do is to make a disaster kit for yourself and your pets. You can either order one online or make it yourself.
So what should it contain?
1.Your disaster kit should include medical documents, like a health summary, medication list, vaccination records, your veterinarian’s name and phone number. Don’t forget to include a picture of your pet in case your pet gets lost. Next, think about the things they need to survive.
2.Pack medications, water, and food. Since water takes up a lot of space and is heavy, I recommend packing either iodine tablets or a portable water filter. I prefer dry food instead of canned food because cans are heavy. If you choose canned food, remember to pack a can opener. According to the Red Cross, you should have a 2-week supply. Of course, that may be impractical if you have a Great Dane or many pets. At the very least, you should have enough to last several days.
3. Don’t forget to include food and water bowls.
4.The kit should also have a leash, preferably one that is reflective. And keep pet carriers nearby for small dogs or cats.
5. I also recommend having pet treats in case you need to coax a scared pet out of hiding.
6. Some dogs may also benefit from a Thunder Vest to help with anxiety.
7.You should also include an emergency thermal blanket, flashlight, and consider dog booties.
Keep everything in a backpack or duffel bag. I prefer bright colors to make it easy to find. And store it where you can easily find it, not buried in the back of your closet or garage.
Another important thing to remember is that during the chaos of a natural disaster, it’s really easy for pets to get out and get lost. In order to improve your chances of reuniting with a lost pet, make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag with your phone number. Unfortunately, collars and tags are not fool proof and are not enough. Your pet should also have a microchip. Even if your pet loses their collar, a microchip will identify your pet and help reunite you.
Although we can’t prevent or predict natural disasters, we can be prepared. Just remember to prepare for our four-legged members of the family.
For more information about making a pet disaster kit be sure to watch my segment on The Doctors: