Pet Safety Preparedness and planning for an emergency is crucial in today’s world.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record—I have to say the truth is “these are crazy times”. Our world changed over half a year ago now…not just our state or our country but our WORLD! With all the days blending into the next, working at home, distance learning and emergency preparedness—all things that are common terminology today. With these “crazy times”, comes the subject of “emergency preparedness”. How well are you prepared for not only yourself but your animal companion?

pet disaster preparedness

Many of us may have a First Aid Kit and maybe even an emergency kit; stocked with flashlights, batteries, camping food, extra clothes, etc. Depending on what kind of “prepper” you are, these items ready to go in your garage is simply just a smart idea. So have you thought about your pet and do you have an emergency kit ready for them as well? With pets being such an important family member these days, they depend on us for their safety. So let’s talk about what are the items necessary to have ready to go in a state of emergency.

I’ve grown up in California all my life and summer fire season and earthquakes have been a part of our normal life. But then a few years ago, there seemed to be huge shift with fires. Now with smoke filled air and firenados, our lives have changed forever. Ever since the large fires of Sonoma County a few years ago and the Southern California fires of last summer, where people were leaving in the middle of the night, literally running for their lives, I have reorganized my garage to be better prepared for my two kids, myself and 4 fur babies.

In my garage, you will find on one shelf next to my truck 2 large plastic bins and pet crates. One emergency bin is for myself and my two kids. The standard emergency “home made” kit I put together with the help of the interweb and a thing called Google. The second bin is filled with the 25 year camping/astronaut food, as I like to call it. And lastly all the pet crates are lined up. In each crate a smaller plastic container with food, water/food dish, leash and bedding/litter box. We have two cats, a rabbit and a dog; so each pet needs a secure and safe crate with they can be placed in an emergency situation.

My kids, ages 13 and 16, think I’m a little neurotic this time of year. August through November, I have made sure all bins are stocked, refreshed and a special go bag is in the truck at all times. My teens roll their eyes at me as I discuss over dinner the evacuation plans and “the just in case- we gotta get the heck out in 15 minutes plan”. I know I’m planning for the worst…but I’d rather be proactive then reactive.   I’m sure there are better ways to prepare and more efficient plans to be made; but at least it’s a start.

I recently came across this photo online and thought it was a perfect and simple Pet Disaster Kit Checklist to have as a reference. It’s a good starting point to help in preparation. The most important things to remember are to be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. (Download pdf here)

pet disaster preparedness

Here is a quick Top 10 Prep List for Your Pet Emergency Preparedness.

  1. Have one pet crate for each pet – soft crates or hard crates- the proper size according to your pet size.
  2. Have food, water and medication stored in waterproof container    *There is different information on this—some sites will say 3-5 days and others say 2 weeks supply.
  3. Have a pet leash/harness. *Even cats, rabbits, ferrets, etc can be leashed
  4. Blanket/bedding/towel
  5. Litter/Litterbox-Cardboard box
  6. Pet papers, insurance or any other important copies of paperwork sealed in waterproof container.
  7. All items can be placed inside crate ready to grab and go
  8. Make an Evacuation Plan—type it out and display next to garage door or where you keep your car keys.
  9. Get your family involved. *Give each family member a job to do!
  10. Talk about it and practice!

**Livestock and Horse Owners– we have some great information for you too!  Check out SLO HEET’s website as well as Emergency Plans through our website.  SLO Horse News also has a great kit you can purchase online to help you plan for anything from being away from home and something happens to any emergency.

We can never be too careful; especially in the world we live in today. Pets are our family and we don’t want to leave them behind. They depend on us to protect them and care for them; so this is just an added step to show our love for them.

Until next time…

*CJ

picture of christine johnson author