Pet Disaster Preparedness

Admit it.  You do not have a disaster preparedness plan even for your own family.  It’s human nature.  We will have time. Or, will we?

Remember Superstorm Sandy, and the havoc she caused in Columbia and surrounding communities?  Probably not, if it did not affect you.

Remember the pair of F3 tornados that ripped through Orangeburg County on April 13, 2020?  Yeah, I think I remember hearing something.

The Columbia, South Carolina region is subject to tornadoes, hurricanes, flash flooding, even snow and ice.  Are you ready?  What about your pets?

Pet Preparedness Checklist

Disaster can strike in any form, anywhere and at any time. You and your family may be forced from your home – temporarily or permanently. Responding to and recovering from disaster requires advanced planning. Knowing what supplies to have available, how to evacuate with your pet, where your pet will stay, and how you will meet your pet’s needs through the disaster are all critical components of preparedness.

Here are some Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit suggested from The Humane Society of the United States.

  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener if you are packing canned pet food. People need at least one gallon of water per person per day. While your pet may not need that much, keep an extra gallon on hand if your pet has been exposed to chemicals or flood waters and needs to be rinsed.
  • Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit. A pet first aid book is also a good idea.
  • Cat litter box, litter, litter scoop, garbage bags to collect all pets’ waste.
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can’t escape. Carriers should be large enough to allow your pet to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. (Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time.) Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets—who may also need blankets or towels for bedding and warmth as well as special items, depending on their species.
  • Current photos of you with your pets, microchip numbers, and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated—and to prove that they are yours once you’re reunited.
  • Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce stress.
  • Written information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior issues along with the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.

The following items might also be useful:

  • Newspapers
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Grooming items
  • Household bleach

Consider practicing putting your pet in a carrier from time to time so they get used to it.