AVMA Offers Disaster Preparedness Plans for Pets


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As fires rage out West, particularly in California, and with two tropical storms headed toward the Gulf of Mexico with the potential to intensify to hurricane strength, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is encouraging pet owners to develop disaster preparedness plans for pets:

The AVMA has resources available for pet owners, including tips on assembling a pet evacuation kit (included below), what to do if your pet is lost, and what to do after a disaster.

You can view AVMA’s Pets and Disasters resources on the AVMA’s website.

Pet Evacuation Kit

Be prepared for a disaster with a pet evacuation kit. Assemble the kit well in advance of any emergency and store in an easy-to-carry, waterproof container close to an exit.

Food and Medicine

  • 3-7 days’ worth of dry and canned (pop-top) food*
  • Two-week supply of medicine*
  • At least 7 days’ supply of water
  • Feeding dish and water bowl
  • Liquid dish soap

*These items must be rotated and replaced to ensure they don’t expire

First Aid Kit

  • Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Bandage tape and scissors
  • Cotton bandage rolls
  • Flea and tick prevention (if needed in your area)
  • Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
  • Latex gloves
  • Saline solution
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Tweezers

Sanitation

  • Litter, litter pan, and scoop (shirt box with plastic bag works well for pan)
  • Newspaper, paper towels, and trash bags
  • Household chlorine beach or disinfectant

Important Documents

  • Identification papers including proof of ownership
  • Medical records and medication instructions
  • Emergency contact list, including veterinarian and pharmacy
  • Photo of your pet (preferably with you)

Travel Supplies

  • Crate or pet carrier labeled with your contact information
  • Extra collar/harness with ID tags and leash
  • Flashlight, extra batteries
  • Muzzle

Comfort Items

  • Favorite toys and treats
  • Extra blanket or familiar bedding

No one expects an emergency to happen. Odds are it won’t happen to you – but if it does, do be prepared, says Dr. Heather Loenser of the American Animal Hospital Association. 

Here are more tips, regarding disaster preparedness for pets from Pet Safety Crusader Denise Fleck, from my conversation with her on my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show