Preparing your Pets for an Emergency / Evacuation

When preparing yourself and family for an emergency, please don’t forget to prepare for your pet(s). A first-aid kit is important not only in the event of a natural disaster, but any time a pet is far away from immediate help; for example, when the family takes the pet camping or on a vacation out of the area.

Here is a list of some basic, yet essential items to consider;

  • Food: Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.

  • Water: Store at least three days of water specifically for your pet(s), this is in addition to water you’ll need for yourself and family.

  • Medications and Medical Records: Keep an extra supply of medications your pet takes on a regular basis; store in a waterproof container.

  • Collar with ID tag, harness and/or leash: Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Make sure to have your pet micro-chipped and have the micro-chip ID number always accessible to you.

  • First Aid Kit: Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include at least:

    • Conforming stretch gauze bandage material (2” x 75”) can be used to create a pressure wrap.

    • Sterile gauze pads (4” x 4” ) can be cut to smaller size if needed

    • Bandage tape

    • Cotton tipped applicators

    • Antibiotic Ointment

    • Flea and Tick prevention

    • Latex gloves

    • Antiseptic wipes

    • Anti-clotting powder

    • Providone-iodine prep pads

    • Saline solution

    • Tweezers and/or scissors

    • Protective paw covers

  • Crate and other pet carrier(s): If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation you will need a safe place to transport your pet in. This is especially true for cats and smaller pets.

  • Sanitation: Include pet litter and a litter box if possible. Including paper towels, newspaper, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach will help to provide sanitation if/when needed. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach). Use 8 drops of regular bleach per gallon of wter, stir well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before use. DO NOT USE scented or color safe bleaches or those with added cleaners.

  • A picture of you and your pet(s) together: If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, color or distinguishing characteristics/markings.

  • Familiar Items: Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

Consider having two kits readily available, one that has everything you’ll need to stay where you are and the other should be lightweight and easy to grab in case of an evacuation.

If you have questions please call 1-800-BE-READY or visit READY.GOV