With Hurricane Dorian raging in the Atlantic right now, summer wildfire season upon us in the west, and droughts hitting other places in the world, I wanted to resend this Emergency Check List to help you know how to prepare your animals for emergencies of any kind. I wish I had this list when we were separated from our cats at home during the sudden Colorado flood of 2013.
Emergency Check List
1) Be sure that dogs and cats have identification with your current phone number on their bodies/collars. It's easy to get a tag made instantly at a Pets Mart tag making machine.
2) Post a decal on your front door with the number of pets in the house so that rescuers will know who they are looking for. Remember that some dogs and most cats will hide under beds and in closets when they are scared. Know your companion's favorite hiding places. Here's a link on Amazon for Pet Safe Decals
3) Have your vet's number in your phone as well as the emergency vet. Give this info to a friend or family member as well.
4) Make sure that carriers and dog crates have your current information taped or written on them well as the animal's names with a brief description, and any special instructions regarding meds or needs. For example, my dog crate (holds two cats comfortably) had my name, address, home and cell phone as well as, "3 cats: Simon, white cat, needs 5 mg prednosolone daily., Lily, dilute calico, Azul, brown and tan Himalayan cat" taped on the top of the crate. The smaller cat carrier has my name and phones. Both crate and carrier are lined with a puppy pad and soft towel, ready for immediate use.
5) Have extra canned food for cats and dogs (not dry as it can go bad) in the house as a back up. When we were separated from our cats during the flood, the electricity was down and their raw food was used up rapidly. Neighbors brought them chicken that needed to be eaten, and fortunately, I had a supply of freeze dried treats that helped supplement the chicken. Eventually, thanks to a kind neighbor who took it upon herself to rescue stranded pets, Simon and Azul were air lifted out and were sheltered and fed at a vet clinic in Fort Collins. Unfortunately, Lily hid out in the house, stealthily avoided TWO humane traps, and missed eating for a few days until Marcus was able to hike in and get her. It was a harrowing time. I now have a "stash" of canned food in the basement for just such an emergency.
6) Prepare a "suitcase" and First Aid Kit. It's super helpful to have a pack with essentials like freeze-dried treats, collapsible water bowl, a couple of cans of food or, even better, a bag of freeze dried food, extra leash and collar, extra puppy pads and towels with essential info all ready to grab and go. A Pet First Aid kit (click for a homemade version I like) or a prepared kit (available on line) would be a great support. Here's how to create a Homeopathic First Aid Kit. I love this! Of course, Rescue Remedy should be included in every first aid kit for animals and humans.
7) Vacation plans? Be sure your pet sitter and a neighbor have explicit notes with feeding instructions and all the emergency info. Tell them where your critters like to hide out. Show them where the crates and carriers are as well as the back-up food in case they are needed.
With a little forethought and good planning, you can rest assured that you and your beloveds will be ready for anything. May you all stay safe and together if an emergency arises.
with Love, Your Voice of Animals,