Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.
As a general rule, with the exception of working animals, pets are not permitted inside a resiliency, reception or evacuation centre. This ensures people with allergies or a fear of animals are as comfortable as possible inside the centre. Resiliency, reception or evacuation centres do not normally have supplies necessary for the care of pets.
Including a pet emergency plan as part of your family’s emergency plan and having a pet emergency kit is important for all pet owners.
Preparing your Pet
Whether your family’s pets are dogs, cats, birds, mice, gerbils, lizards, snakes, spiders, crickets or an ant farm it is important to have a plan in place for what you are going to do with them and for how you are going to take care of them during a disaster.
It is important to remember that the more common household pets are domesticated animals and lack the survival instincts wild animals have. Ensuring for their safety and care following an emergency or disaster is important.
When preparing your pet emergency plan, consider that in stressful times a pet’s behaviour may change. Pets that normally get along may fight.
Preplan for an Evacuation
Research safe places to take your pet like to family, friends, kennels or pet-friendly hotels and motels. As a general rule, most resiliency, reception or evacuation centres do not accept pets.
If you have to evacuate, take your pet with you. Leaving animals behind significantly decreases their chance of survival. Even if you believe you will be evacuated for a few hours only, take your pets with you. Once you leave, there is no way to determine how long you'll be kept out of the area and you may not be able to return for your pets.
Pet Emergency Supplies
Pets are a part of our families and they too should have their own emergency supplies kit.
Pet emergency supplies should consider the special needs of your pet, such as kennels or cages, leashes, toys, bowls, medications or special health considerations.
Here’s what’s in our Basic Pet Emergency Supplies Kit.
Pet First Aid Supplies
Even your pet emergency supplies kit should include a first aid kit. Consult your veterinarian or local pet supply store.
Keep vaccinations, identification and licenses up to date. Store copies of these records in your pet’s emergency supplies kit. Also have a current photo of your pet that shows distinguishing marks.
Pet Emergency Food and Water
Have enough food and water for each pet for a minimum of 72 hours, preferably 7 days. Be sure to include:
- Water — quantities will depend on the size and need of your pet. Remember, in a highly anxious state, your pet will drink more water than normal.
- Food and treats