We love our pets! They're precious companions, maybe even part of the family. It's essential that we ensure their well-being and safety, especially when a crisis strikes. Natural disasters or unexpected emergencies don't politely announce themselves. They can occur at any moment, leaving us with little time to react. This is especially true in California, with the ever-present threats of wildfires, earthquakes and flooding. Assembling and maintaining a well-prepared emergency kit for our pets helps ensures you're ready for anything, and provides peace of mind outside of a disaster scenario. In this blog post, the PAWS/LA team will discuss the essential items and steps required to assemble an effective emergency kit. You can also download a comprehensive and printable emergency kit checklist from the CDC website.
PAWS/LA Pet Alert Emergency Sticker
In case of disaster, it's important than emergency responders are aware that you are a pet owner, and that there may be an animal in your house. Check out our Pet Alert Emergency Sticker. You can display this on your front door or windows to let emergency workers know how many animals they need to account for, as well as their species. This enables them to act fast. In case you're not present, the sticker also includes your contact info. You can order your free sticker by clicking here.
Gather important documents
The first step in creating a pet emergency kit is to gather all the necessary documents related to your pet. These documents may include vaccination records, medical history, identification papers, and contact information for your veterinarian. Make sure to store them in a waterproof bag or folder and keep a digital copy as a backup.
FOOD AND WATER SUPPLIES
When disaster strikes, access to food and clean water may be limited. Ensure you have a sufficient supply of your pet's regular food stored in airtight containers to maintain its freshness. It is recommended to store at least a week's worth of food for your pet. Additionally, pack portable bowls for both food and water, and remember to rotate the food supply periodically to avoid expiration.
Medications and first aid
If your pet requires regular medication, ensure you have a sufficient supply in your emergency kit. Include a first aid supplies specifically designed for pets, which should contain items such as bandages, antiseptic solution, tweezers, and any necessary medications prescribed by your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with basic pet first aid procedures or enroll in a pet first aid course to be well-prepared in case of an emergency.
Comfort and familiarity
Disasters can be stressful for pets, and having familiar items can provide them with comfort during uncertain times. Pack their favorite blanket, toys, and any other items that bring them comfort. These familiar objects can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of security.
leashes collars and carriers
In an emergency, you may need to evacuate with your pet quickly. Ensure you have a sturdy leash and collar readily available for each pet. Additionally, invest in a secure and properly sized pet carrier that is easily transportable. Practice using the carrier with your pet beforehand to reduce stress during an actual emergency.
Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is essential for your pet's health. Pack a supply of poop bags, litter, litter trays (for cats), and cleaning supplies such as pet-friendly disinfectants. These items will help you keep your pet's environment clean and reduce the risk of diseases.
up to date identification info
In chaotic situations, it is common for pets to become separated from their owners. Ensure your pet's identification is up to date. A collar with identification tags and a securely fitted microchip with your contact information are vital in helping reunite you with your pet if you get separated.
you can never be too prepared
You can never be too prepared. Although we don't want to live our lives anticipating disaster, taking a little time to create an emergency kit for your pet allows you to relax in the knowledge that you're ready for anything. By being prepared, you can minimize stress and provide comfort to your beloved companion when it matters most. Remember to periodically check and replenish supplies, so your emergency kit remains up to date. Taking these proactive steps will help you face emergencies with confidence, knowing that you have everything you need to protect and care for your beloved animals. And who knows, maybe they'll end up protecting and taking care of you!
Our blog is managed by Ryan Hilary with additional contributions from the PAWS/LA team. Are you a member of our community and have a great idea for a post (or maybe want to write one yourself?). Reach out to Rhilary@pawsla.org.