If 2017 and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria showed us anything, it’s that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, and she can be totally unpredictable. So, for that reason, now’s as good a time as any to give your disaster prep kit a check, and to restock (or simply stock) it with necessities for you and your pet. Here’s what we’d recommend you have on-hand for your pets:
A blanket from inside your home
According to scientists, dogs recognize their owners by smell. Turns out, they can also smell when you’re scared. Having something from inside the house with your smell on it will help calm your pooch in times where you might not be, umm, smelling your best. And when you have a scared pet on your hands, the very same blanket can help scoop him up to safety and comfort.
Make sure you have proof of vaccinations, rabies certificate and any emergency contact information (your vet’s number, vet hospital number and poison control’s number). Your pets’ microchip numbers would be great too, in the unfortunate event that you get separated.
You probably won’t think about where your pet does its business during a disaster, but pet waste contamination is a serious issue and training pads can help. Plus they’re amazing in a pinch as a layer between your pet and a car’s seat, and can also be used to clean up other, non-pet related messes. A true multi-tasker!
Pet waste bags
For the aforementioned reasons that pet waste contamination isn’t something you want to deal with. But let’s be honest, you never know when you’ll need a bag for another reason. We’d suggest an extra-thick bag with big handles just in case, like Bags on Board’s Hand Armor variety.
Pet-specific food, water and medications
Whether you use canned food with a pop-top or dry food, be sure to rotate it out every couple months. Try to have 3-7 days’ worth. For water, try to keep 7 days’ worth on-hand for each pet or person. Medications should be rotated out prior to their expiration dates. All of these items don’t take up much room in your disaster preparedness kit and can be invaluable to keeping your pet safe and calm during an emergency. One final item that you can’t necessarily put in your bag: create an evacuation plan. Know where the pet-friendly hotels are, and how early you should leave with your pets.