Are you prepared?

Remember your pet is part of the family

Note:  Because this is a site for cats, the first section of information below is about your pets.  Below that is information from the American Red Cross to help you prepare for a disaster for your entire family.

Disaster preparedness kit and information

When you prepare your family's disaster plan, don't forget to include your pets in the arrangements.  Below are a few high points of things to keep in mind.  Check the links below for more information.

  • Pet first aid kit (see below)
  • Ensure that if you need to evacuate, you have a collar (preferably a harness) with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet. 
  • Each animal should have its own properly-sized pet carrier.  Items such as the pet's normal type of bedding and toys should be inside.
  • Make sure your pet's vaccinations are current.
  • Ensure that you have adequate food, a gallon of water, and dishes in your evacuation kit.  If your pet is on any medications, remember to take them with you.
  • Include litter/litter box or plastic bags.
  • Favorite toys and treats
  • Bring your pets inside immediately if there is a disaster. Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. 
Useful disaster preparedness links with pet information
Emergency evacuation kit for your pet

A reader sent in this information concerning an emergency evacuation kit he put together:

I got a "QT-21370  Soft Sided Pet Carrier" ($20 from Drs Foster &

It has a removable "hard" panel on the bottom.

Underneath that I stashed a one gallon zip-lock plastic baggie of his favorite dry cat food, 4 1/2 liter bottles of water, 2 metal dishes, a harness and a leash.

It hangs easily in the front closet.

Pet first aid kit
Below is a basic safety kit for your cat.  Keep the kit in a convenient location (probably near your 'people' first aid kit) and out of the reach of children and pets. Note that giving first aid to your pet should not be a substitute for veterinary care.
  • First aid cream or antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin)
  • Absorbent cotton balls to help stop bleeding
  • Cotton swabs to clean your pet's ears and to apply ointment
  • Gauze bandage rolls for bandaging or for use as a muzzle   
  • Gauze pads to be used as compresses or bandages
  • Adhesive tape for bandages
  • Diluted (with water) iodine solution
  • Scissors with safety tips
  • Tweezers
  • Antihistamine for insect bites
  • An extra copy of your pet's medical records, and their photo
  • Your vet's name, address, phone number and emergency hours information
  • The phone number of the Poison Control Center (National Animal Poison Control: (1-800-548-2423)
  • The phone number and address of the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic/hospital

72-hour Disaster kit for the rest of the family
  • Water - Have at least one gallon per person per day.
  • Food for 3 days - Pack non-perishable, high-protein items, including energy bars, read-to-eat soup, peanut butter, etc.  Select foods that require no refrigeration. 
  • Can opener, cups and mess kit (plates, utensils), if appropriate
  • Flashlight - Include extra batteries.
  • First aid kit - Pack a reference guide.
  • Medications - Don't forget prescription and non-prescription items.
  • Tools - Assemble a wrench to turn off gas if necessary, a manual can opener, a screwdriver, hammer, pliers, a knife, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and garbage bags and ties.
  • Clothing - Provide a change of clothes for everyone, including sturdy shoes and gloves, rain gear
  • Personal items - Remember eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution; and comfort items such as toys and books.
  • Sanitary supplies - You'll want toilet paper, moist towelettes, feminine supplies, personal hygiene items, bleach, etc.
  • Money - Have cash (ATMs and credit cards won't work if power is out).
  • Contact Information - Carry a current list of family phone numbers and email addresses, including someone out of hte area who may be easier to reach if local phone lines are out of service or overloaded.
  • Pet  supplies - [see above]
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare
  • Keep copies of important family records such as insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Whistle
  • Map - Consider marking an evacuation route on it from your local area.
  • Radio - Include extra batteries.
Include any necessary items for infants, seniors, and people with disabilities in your kit.  Store your disaster supplies in a sturdy but easy-to-carry container.  A large covered trash container, overnight backpack or duffel bag will work.  Keep a smaller version of the kit in  your vehicle.  If you become stranded or are not able to return home, having some items with you will help you be more comfortable until help arrives. 

Other items to include if desired:  Mini camp stove with fuel tablets, ponchos, water tablets, hand & pocket warmer, candles, emergency thermal blankets, tissues, nylon braided cord, waterproof bag, quart zip lock bag, napkins & spoons, camper's can opener/swiss army knife.
A special note on sheltering-in-place
Chemical or airborne hazards require a special response called sheltering-in-place.  If local officials advise you to shelter-in-place:
  1. Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
  2. Turn off all fans, and heating and air conditioning systems.
  3. Close the fireplace damper.
  4. Get your disaster supplies kit out and make sure the radio is working.
  5. Go to an interior room without windows that is above ground level. (In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air, and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.)
  6. Using duct tape, seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
  7. Listen to your radio or television for further instructions.  Local officials may call for evacuation to specific areas.

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