Thursday, May 10, 2012

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

Depending on where you go on the internet, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is either May 8 or May 12. Either way, you need to have a disaster preparedness plan in place that includes your pets.

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from sheltering in place for a few hours, a brief absence from your home, or a long term evacuation.

Prepare a Pet Emergency Supply Kit 

Just like you need to prepare an emergency supply kit for yourself, you will also need one for your pet. Make sure you use plastic zipper bags to store items and then place them into a larger waterproof container. Here are items to include in your kit:

  • Food & Water: Keep at least 3 days’ worth. If your pet eats canned food get some cans with tops that don’t need a can opener. Make sure you rotate this food and water every few months so that it’s ready for use in case you actually need it. 
  • Food & Water Bowls: Include something light and easy to clean. 
  • Medicine & Medical Records: If your pet is on regular medicines, keep an extra supply in your kit. Put a copy of your pet's most recent medical records in your kit should you need to have your pet stay elsewhere.  
  • First Aid Kit: Include the basics like: cotton bandages, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, latex gloves, tweezers, saline solution, and a basic pet first aid book.
  • Leash & Collar: Keep an extra leash and collar in your kit. If you have an extra set of ID tags put them on the spare collar. Ensuring that your pet is microchipped will assist in identification if you and your pet are separated.
  • Crate or Carrying Case: Have a crate or carrying case for your pet. If your kit is small and you have a smaller pet, consider adding an all-cotton pillow case so that you have something to contain your pet. You may want to consider a crate on wheels or a pet stroller to make evacuation easier.
  • Cleaning supplies: Depending on your type of pet, you may also need litter and a litter box, paper towels and plastic trash bags. Consider using aluminum roasting pans because they are light and can be thrown away. Include some liquid dish soap and disinfectant. 

When most people think about disaster preparedness, they think about natural disasters – hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. And I did too until my friend BoSoxAmy suddenly had to leave her home because of a fire in her apartment building.

Luckily Amy, who has a cat and a guinea pig, had prepared a pet emergency kit with the essentials she needed to get through the first few days. Amy shared her experience on her blog, and I highly recommend you visit it to learn from her experience.



  1. It's hard to tell what kind of disaster may strike. Thanks for spreading the word about preparedness!

    1. And thank you for sharing your experience on your blog! Although I'm sad that you and Lee lost all your physical possessions, I'm happy that you were able to get out safely with Sebastian and Dottie.

  2. I didn't know there was a disaster preparedness day! Thanks for enlightening me.

  3. Thanks for the reminder. We learned after the recent fire that BoSoxAmy had and did get something ready. One just never knows.

  4. Because of BoSoxAmy we now have our emergency kit too!

  5. Thank you for sharing these list. Very useful indeed.