We know how important emergency preparedness is. We've already discussed the importance of preparing a 72-hour kit for each member of the family, putting together a bug-out plan that includes meet-up locations the whole family knows, and even emergency preparedness for our cars. But there's one family member we haven't included in our emergency preparedness discussion: our pets.
While most of us have taken every step possible to prepare for any natural disaster that could strike, very few of us have made those same preparations for our pets. When Hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of the United States, an estimated 250,000* pets were left stranded, struggling for survival. While we cannot predict "when" a disaster will hit, we can take the steps now to prepare ourselves and our pets for any disaster life might through at us. And surprisingly, many of the same steps we take for our own emergency preparedness can also be taken to prepare our pets. Today, we're going to talk about a few steps we can take to better prepare our pets.
|Even your pet needs a 72-hour kit, so why not make one they can carry themselves?|
It only makes sense, right? I mean, if every person in our family needs their own, personal, 72-hour kit, doesn't that also include our pets? Believe it or not, Fido needs many of the same things you'd need in a disaster. So preparing a special kit just for him is extremely simple. Here's a brief checklist you can follow:
Water: It's the most important thing you'll need, and the same goes with you pet. Include in your kit at least 3-days worth of drinking water for your pet. Remember to also include a bowl or container that your pet can drink out of with your water supply.
Food: Did you know that your pet was designed for food storage? It's true. Just walk down the local grocery store's pet food isle. You'll see that most dog and cat food is dry and carries a pretty decent shelf life. Pack at least a three-day supply of dry food for your pet. Avoid canned food as much as possible, but if you have to store canned food, make sure you include a can opener in your kit. In addition, include a food bowl for your pet to eat out of.
First Aid Kit: While the supplies contained in your personal First Aid kit could also be used on Fido, setting aside a personal pet First Aid kit is still a good idea. Even better, you can find a First Aid kit specifically designed for your pet at most pet retail stores. As well, you should include any special medications that your pet may need.
Clothing or Blanket: Warmth may be a very big necessity, depending on where you live, so including a jacket, paw gloves, or a warm blanket could be the difference between life or death. Stashing something away now is just a good idea.
|When creating your bug out plan, make sure to consider space for your pets and their carriers.|
An often overlook part of pet preparedness occurs when families prepare a bug out plan. When mapping out space in their vehicle, including all emergency supplies, they simply forget about including a spot for the family pet. Take time to think about what will need to be included in the vehicle to ensure your pets can travel safely with you. Find an animal carrier that not only allows your pet to travel safely and comfortably, but also gives enough space for everything else you'll need. Make these plans now so that you can have a better idea of how much space you'll need to make.
Plan Activity & Play
|Be sure to include items in your pet's 72-hour kit, such as leashes and toys, that can help keep them and you active.|
You've taken the necessary steps to prepare yourself and your pet for any disaster, but do those plans include activity? Stimulation during a crisis is key for both you and your pet. Being able to move, exercise, and play can keep both you and your pet calm and collected, whether hunkered down in your home or bugging out in your vehicle. Take a few minutes to plan a few activities you can do with your pet and plan accordingly. If playing fetch is something your pet enjoys, include a tennis ball in their emergency kit. Perhaps just going on a simple walk is enough. Throw an extra leash in their emergency kit. Plan activities that could keep both of you busy and active in any crisis.
These are just a few steps you can take to better prepare your pets for any emergency. What are a few you've thought of or have done to prepare your pets?
*Information collected from Today.com