Disaster Preparedness for Pets

Japan tsunami survivor with dog

Japan tsunami survivor with dog

The pictures coming out of Japan are telling us a story about the third richest country in world, left in total disarray with lives shattered, people and pets lost.  No one ever thought Japan would be stricken with total devastation.  People just thought it wouldn’t happen to Japan.

Would you be ready to evacuate your family and your pets if we had a similar situation here in the US?  Have you even thought about what you would need to have packed for your pets?

The ASPCA has compiled a list of items to help you get started.  Having the following items prepared ahead and packed in a “Bug-out Bag” in case you need to depart quickly could help speed your trip and potentially save lives.

The ASPCA recommends having the following items ready to go:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra harness and leash (Note: harnesses are recommended for safety and security)
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
  • Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
  • Especially for dogs: Long leash and yard stake, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner.

If you have reptiles, birds or small animals at home such as hamsters, please take into consideration their special needs including secure housing, bedding, food and water.

Be mindful of the fact that not all shelters and hotels accept pets.  It is prudent to have a list of pet friendly hotels prepared, just in case.  Of course none of us want to think about a potential disaster in our lovely beach area.  But, a few moments of planning now could potentially save a lifetime of heartache.


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7 thoughts on “Disaster Preparedness for Pets

  1. Great reminder blog! So many are not prepared either for themselves or their pets. I remember when we took our 3 Aussies across country in our motor home; the supplies taken (all of the above especially medical records and photos) wound up being more than our supplies!

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