Be Prepared for an Emergency!

From Ready.gov/caring-animals

CARING FOR ANIMALS


Prepare for Emergencies Now: “Information for Pet Owners”
(PDF)

Pet Owner’s Fact Sheet: Printer Friendly version - in English and Spanish

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

 

AND…

The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association is an amazing resource.

QUOTED BELOW IS SOME OF THE VALUABLE INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM THE AZVMA  “PREPARING FOR A DISASTER” WEBPAGE.

 

Scroll down for lists:

First Aid Kits for Cat/Dog/Small Animal; Equine
Evacuation Kits for Cat/Dog/Small Animal; Equine; Livestock
Transportation/Housing for Cat/Dog/Small Animal; Equine/Livestock
Additional Considerations for Other Pets; Pet Birds; Small Mammals; Reptiles; Amphibians

What Do You Do?

After The Disaster

 

The AZVMA site also has details and suggestions for

Do Not Wait Until It Is Too Late Preparing a Disaster Plan In Case You Are Not At Home Identification

Transportation/Housing Veterinary Records Proof of Ownership List of Important Emergency Contacts

“Preparing For a Disaster
Making preparations before a disaster happens is the key to making sure your family and your pets survive. The resources and information below can help you make sure you are not caught by surprise and avoid having to leave your animals stranded in the event of a disaster or an evacuation.”

 

First Aid Kits
Consult your veterinarian when developing the first aid kit. The items below serve only as examples of what may be included in <your> first aid kit.

 

Cat/Dog/Small Animal First Aid Kit

  • Activated charcoal (liquid)
  • Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
  • Antibiotic ointment (for wounds)
  • Antibiotic eye ointment
  • Bandage scissors
  • Bandage tape
  • Betadine® (povidone-iodine) or Nolvasan® (chlorhexidine), scrub and solution
  • Cotton bandage rolls
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Elastic bandage rolls
  • Eye rinse (sterile)
  • Flea and tick prevention and treatment
  • Gauze pads and rolls
  • Ice cream sticks (which may be used as splints)
  • Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
  • Latex gloves or non-allergenic gloves
  • Liquid dish detergent (mild wound and body cleanser)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medications and preventatives (such as heartworm prevention), minimum 2-week supply, with clearly labeled instructions. Provide veterinary and pharmacy contact information for refills.
  • Non-adherent bandage pads
  • Saline solution (for rinsing wounds)
  • Sterile lubricant (water based)
  • Styptic powder (clotting agent)
  • Syringe or eyedropper
  • Thermometer (digital)
  • Tourniquet
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Tweezers

 

Equine First Aid Kit

  • Antibiotic ointment (for wounds)
  • Antibiotic eye ointment
  • Bandage scissors
  • Bandage tape
  • Betadine® (povidone-iodine) or Nolvasan® (chlorhexidine), scrub and solution
  • Cotton bandage rolls
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Elastic bandage rolls
  • Eye rinse (sterile)
  • Gauze pads and rolls
  • Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
  • Latex gloves or non-allergenic gloves
  • Medications (minimum 2 week supply, with clearly labeled instructions)
  • Non-adherent bandage pads
  • Saline solution (for rinsing wounds)
  • Sterile lubricant (water-based)
  • Thermometer (digital)
  • Tincture of green soap
  • Tourniquet
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Tweezers

 

Evacuation Kits
The following lists will help you prepare for your animal(s) in the event of a disaster. The evacuation kit should be assembled in easy-to-carry, waterproof containers. It should be stored in an easily accessible location away from areas with temperature extremes. Replace the food, water, and medications as often as needed to maintain their quality and freshness and in accordance with the expiration dates. Indicate, if applicable, medications that are stored elsewhere due to temperature requirements such as refrigeration.

Consult your veterinarian for advice on making an animal evacuation kit and first aid kit that is appropriate for your individual animals. It is important that you become familiar with the items in your kit and their uses. Your veterinarian may recommend an animal first aid book to include in your kit. Consult your veterinarian regarding emergency first aid procedures and administration of any medications.

 

Cat/Dog/Small Animal Evacuation Kit

  •  2-week supply of food (dry & canned)
  • 2-week supply of water in plastic gallon jugs with secure lids
  • Batteries (flashlight, radio)
  • Cage/carrier (one for each animal, labeled with your contact information)
  • Can opener (manual)
  • Cat/wildlife gloves
  • Copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership
  • Emergency contact list
  • Familiar items to make pets feel comfortable (favorite toys, treats, blankets)
  • First aid kit (see next page)
  • Flashlight
  • Instructions
  • Diet: record the diet for each individual animal, including what not to feed in case of allergies.
  • Medications: list each animal separately, including dose and frequency for each medication. Provide veterinary and pharmacy contact information for refills.
  • Leash and collar or harness (for each animal)
  • Litter, litter pan, litter scoop
  • Maps of local area and alternate evacuation routes (in case of road closures)
  • Muzzles (dog or cat)
  • Newspaper (bedding, litter)
  • No-spill food and water dishes
  • Paper towels
  • Radio (solar and battery operated)
  • Spoon (for canned food)
  • Stakes and tie-outs
  • Trash bags

 

Equine Evacuation Kit

  • 7-10 day supply of feed, supplements, and water
  • Bandannas (to use as blindfolds)
  • Batteries (flashlight, radio)
  • Blankets
  • Copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency contact list
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Fly spray
  • Grooming brushes
  • Heavy gloves (leather)
  • Hoof knife
  • Hoof nippers
  • Hoof pick
  • Hoof rasp
  • Instructions
  • Diet: record the diet for your animals.
  • Medications: record the dose and frequency for each medication. Provide veterinary and pharmacy contact information for refills.
  • Knife (sharp, all-purpose)
  • Leg wraps and leg quilts
  • Maps of local area and alternate evacuation routes (in case of road closures)
  • Non-nylon halters and leads (leather/cotton)
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic trash cans with lids (can be used to store water)
  • Radio (solar and battery operated)
  • Rope or lariat
  • Shovel
  • Tarpaulins
  • Trash bags
  • Twitch
  • Water buckets
  • Wire cutters

 

Livestock Evacuation Kit

  • 7-10 day supply of feed and water
  • Batteries (flashlight, radio)
  • Copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership
  • Cotton halter
  • Duct tape
  • Emergency contact list
  • Flashlight
  • Heavy gloves (leather)
  • Instructions
  • Diet: record the diet for your animals.
  • Medications: record the dose and frequency for each medication. Provide veterinary and pharmacy contact information for refills.
  • Knife (sharp, all-purpose)
  • Maps of local area and alternate evacuation routes (in case of road closures)
  • Nose leads
  • Plastic trash cans with lids (can be used to store water)
  • Portable livestock panels
  • Radio (solar and battery operated)
  • Rope or lariat
  • Shovel
  • Water buckets
  • Whip, prods
  • Wire cutters

 

Transportation/Housing
It is important to separate animals from different households as much as possible and to maintain the best possible hygiene to decrease disease transmission.

Cats, Dogs, Small Animals Emergency Transportation/Housing

  • Leash, collar, and/or harness for each pet.
  • Collapsible cage or airline approved carrier should also be available for each pet, and bedded properly, for transportation and housing purposes – owning enough carriers to accommodate your pets facilitates a speedy evacuation and may mean the difference between the life or death of your pet.
  • Familiarize your animals with evacuation procedures and cages/carriers. Take the cage/carrier out several times a year and put dog or cat treats inside with blankets and toys. By doing this, you hope to reinforce positive feelings associated with the animal carrier.
  • Cat carriers should be large enough to hold a small litter pan and two small dishes and still allow your cat enough room to lie down comfortably or stand to use the litter pan.
  • Dog kennels or collapsible cages should be large enough to hold two no-spill bowls and still allow enough room for your dog to stand and turn around.
  • For added assurance, clearly label each carrier with your identification and contact information.
  • Locate and prearrange an evacuation site for your family and animals outside your immediate area. Ideally, this will be a friend/relative or a pet-friendly hotel that is willing to let your family and animals stay in the event of a disaster.
  • Other possible animal housing options include veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels, and animal shelters.”

 

Equine/Livestock  Emergency Transportation/Housing:  Equine/livestock evacuation can be challenging

    • Develop an evacuation plan and make sure that animals are familiar with being loaded onto a trailer.
    • Premises with facilities that are specifically designed to load and handle livestock will be much more successful in evacuating and relocating livestock.
    • Locate and prearrange an evacuation site for your animals outside your immediate area.
      Possible sites include:
      · veterinary or land grant colleges
      ·  racetracks
      · show grounds
      · pastures
      · stables
      · fairgrounds
      · equestrian centers
      · livestock corrals
      · stockyards or auction facilities
      · other boarding facilities
    • If you do not have enough trailers to transport all of your animals to an evacuation site quickly, contact neighbors, local haulers, farmers, producers, or other transportation providers to establish a network of available and reliable resources that will provide transportation in the event of a disaster.

 

Other Pets – Additional Considerations
Identification, medical records, and proof of ownership are equally as important for other kinds of pets as for the aforementioned animals. Transportation of these species may require additional attention and care in order to decrease chances of stress-induced illness and death. It is important to keep pets from different sources as separate as possible and maintain the best possible hygiene in order to decrease disease transmission.

 

Pet Birds

  • Transportation of pet birds is best accomplished using small, secure, covered carriers to avoid injury.
  • If traveling in cold weather, always warm the interior of your vehicle before moving your bird(s) from the house to the vehicle.
  • Transfer your bird(s) to a standard cage upon arrival at the evacuation site; covering the cage may reduce stress; this transfer should occur in a small, enclosed room to reduce the risk of escape.
  • Birds should be kept in quiet areas and not allowed out of the cage in unfamiliar surroundings. Fresh food and water should be provided daily.
  • If your bird appears ill, be sure to lower the cage perch, food dish, and water bowl and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • In addition to the pertinent items listed under small animal evacuation kit, include:
    • necessary dietary supplements
    • plant mister for cooling birds in hot weather
    • hot water bottle for warming birds in cold weather
    • materials to line the bottom of the cage
    • cage perch
    • toys

 

Small Mammals

  • Transportation of most small mammals (ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, etc.) is best accomplished using a secure, covered carrier or cage to reduce stress.
  • In addition to the pertinent items listed under small animal evacuation kit, include:
    · necessary dietary supplements
    · extra bedding materials
    · appropriate exercise equipment

 

Reptiles

  • Transportation of small reptiles can be accomplished using a pillowcase, cloth sack, or small transport carrier.
  •  If possible, promote defecation before transporting the animal (for example allow tortoises, lizards, or snakes to soak in a shallow water bath before bagging or caging).
  • Transfer your pet to a secure cage at the evacuation site as soon as possible and if appropriate.
  • In addition to the pertinent items listed under small animal evacuation kit, include:
    • essential dietary supplements
    • water bowl for soaking
    • spray bottle for misting
    • extra bags or newspapers
    • heating pad
    • battery-operated heating source or other appropriate heat source
    • extra batteries
    • appropriate handling gloves/supplies
  • Since most reptiles do not eat daily, feeding during evacuation circumstances may increase stress. Determine if feeding is in the animal’s best interest, especially if the container may become fouled.
  • Housing at the evacuation facility should be consistent with that required by the reptile. The enclosure should, if possible, be placed in a controlled environment, away from areas of heavy traffic, loud noises, and vibrations.
  • Make sure that the container housing the reptile is escape proof. Nonetheless, plan for escapes.

 

Amphibians

  • Transportation of amphibians can be accomplished by using watertight plastic bags, such as the ones used for pet fish transport, or plastic containers, such as plastic shoeboxes or plastic food containers with snap-on lids.
  •  It is best to place only one species or if possible only one animal per container.
  • Small ventilation holes should be placed in the upper wall or plastic lid. Smooth the inner surface of the holes with a file or sandpaper to prevent injury to the animal.
  • For terrestrial or semi aquatic amphibians use a tiny amount of water, or moistened paper towels, clean foam rubber, or moss as a suitable substrate.
  • For aquatic species, fill the plastic bag one third full of water, then inflate the bag with fresh air and close with a knot or rubber band. It is best to use clean water from the animal’s enclosure to minimize physiologic stress.
  • Care must be taken to monitor water and air temperature, humidity, lighting, and nutrition during the time that the animal will be in the evacuation facility.
  • Housing at the evacuation facility should be consistent with that required by the amphibian.
  • The enclosure should, if possible, be placed in a controlled environment, away from areas of heavy traffic, loud noises, and vibrations.
  • Make sure that the container housing the amphibian is escape proof. Nonetheless, plan for escapes.
  • Take an extra container of water, clean moist paper towels or clean moss as is appropriate in case any of your pet’s containers break or leak.
  • Feeding during evacuation circumstances may increase stress so it may not be in the animal’s best interests to supply food, especially if the water may become fouled.

 

An Evacuation Order Has Been Issued…   Now What Do You Do?

Evacuate your family, including your animals, as early as possible. By leaving early, you will decrease the chance of becoming victims of the disaster.

  • Bring your dogs, cats, and other small animals indoors.
  • Make sure all animals have some form of identification securely fastened to them (or their cage, in the case of smaller, caged pets). The utilization of permanent identification is encouraged.
  • Place all small pets, including cats and small dogs, inside individual transportable carriers. When stressed, animals that normally get along may become aggressive towards each other.
  • Secure leashes on all large dogs.
  • Load your larger animal cages/carriers into your vehicle. These will serve as temporary housing for your animals if needed.
  • Load the animal evacuation kit and supplies into your vehicle.
  • Call your prearranged animal evacuation site to confirm availability of space.
  • Implement your equine/livestock evacuation plan.
  • If evacuation of horses/livestock is impossible, relocate them to the safest place possible based on the type of imminent disaster and your environment, realizing that the situation could be life threatening.
    • Make sure that they have access to hay or an appropriate and safe free-choice food source, clean water, and the safest living area possible including high ground above flood levels.
    • Do not rely on automatic watering systems, because power may be lost.
    • The decision to leave your horses/livestock in the field or in the barn should be based on the risks of injury resulting from the disaster as well as from the horse’s/livestock’s immediate environment during that disaster.
    • Factors to consider include the stability of the barn, the risk of flooding, and the amount of trees and debris in the fields.
    • If time permits, secure or remove all outdoor objects that may turn into dangerous flying debris.

After the Disaster

  • Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines, or other hazards.
  • Examine your animals closely, and contact your veterinarian immediately if you observe injuries or signs of illness.
  • Familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your animals.
  • Release equine/livestock in safe and enclosed areas only. Initial release should take place during daylight hours, when the animals can be closely observed.
  • Release cats, dogs, and other small animals indoors only. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if they are allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained.
  • Release birds and reptiles only if necessary and only when they are calm and in an enclosed room.
  • Reintroduce food in small servings, gradually working up to full portions if animals have been without food for a prolonged period of time.
  • Allow uninterrupted rest/sleep for all animals to recover from the trauma and stress.
  • If your animals are lost, physically check animal control and animal shelters daily for lost animals.
  • Post waterproof lost animal notices and notify local law enforcement, animal care and control officials, veterinarians, and your neighbors of any lost animals (utilize online resources for lost and found animals).