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With our family pets it is important to make a preparedness plan that includes them.
Readiness for a dog will be marginally different than the preparedness we would plan for our family cat.
I understand there are many of you that will bring your animals with you in the event of a disaster in your area. This is excellent advice IF you have a secure location to go TO. Your shelter is already set up for your animals.
Many people are not as fortunate. In the event you decide at the last minute to go to a shelter and intend to bring your canine or feline baby with you - know that they will not be welcome, no matter how much you love them! When this may be the conditions of your bug out, planning ahead with some reasonable ideas will prevent a heartbreaking and unsafe situation for your family critter and yourselves.
Think ahead for your animal. Know what they may have to deal with in the event you have to leave them home and plan well for their safety and well being. In a question I posed to two separate Facebook Groups, I asked what people were planning for their pets in the event of an emergency. There were several very helpful pieces of advice in these conversations.
What I learned from them will undoubtedly help all of us pet owners in emergency situations.
I will detail other animals later. I am addressing standard house pets at this time.
When a large storm rolls through or a noisy situation is in play I can't tell you how many dogs, cats, and other beloved animals will bust loose and try to get away. The noise and the energy is scary to them and they go into the flight mode. Know your animals will do this. Keeping them safely where you know where they are and being prepared for them is the kindest thing you can offer them. There are too many homeless animals after the wake of severe disasters.
Let's start with what to do in a minor situation.
We can count that as a power outage or a situation where we can remain at home. This situation is simple. Make sure you have adequate food and water for your animals and your family. Ideally we should stock and store about 3 to 6 months of food or more if we want to remain on a preparedness level within our home for just in case. These preparedness measures are for anything not just storms or nature disasters, it can be for the event of something impacting our finances. Prepping their foods into our food storage list reduces an additional stress item from our crisis. Pack a minimum of 2 weeks into your storage areas for your pets required nutritional needs. Plan for their water, also. Add the same amount of h2o they would drink in a few days time depending on the size of the animal.
Medium level disasters would be a fire or a flooding of our home. In this case, a packed emergency kit ready to go for our animals and each of our family members that will tend our needs temporarily until we are able to find a temporary home and assess the damage to our property. IF this is the case, finding a hotel or a friend that is pet friendly with us is a good thing to seek out BEFORE an event of this kind strikes. Maybe we can set up a tent or a shelter in the yard at the home. If this is the case the animal can stay with us.
Worst case scenarios would be an earthquake, fire, or a hurricane totally leveling our home. What if it is a total civil unrest situation and we are caught up in it? We are now in a bug out situation and if we are to travel with our animals we must make sure they can come with us safely. A travel cage and leashes are needed for our dogs and for our cat, too. If you have a rodent or some other exotic pet, a travel box that is secured for their comfort and vented is required. The worst thing we can do is leave an innocent animal to fend for themselves.
Packing a 72 hour kit for a dog or cat
1 gallon of water (depending on size of animal. A couple of small water bottles would be good for a cat.)
Large Ziplock Bag(s) With dry food for 3 days
3 Large cans of food
Leash / safety harness
Medicines (if needed)
Pet Vitamins (needed for the stress of evacuation!)
Pet First Aid Kit
If you have a more exotic family pet, make sure you can take them with you safely! We mean to bring them gently along with us, not damage them by the exit. Always consider their needs and put some thought into what they are going to need to travel with you in the even of emergency.
What pets would you have to prepare for?
Can you add to this list of preparedness items for an animal?
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