The Emergency Prep Guide is intended to offer you advice on how to prepare for and survive a wide range of potential emergencies with which you might be presented with at home, in your workplace and while traveling.

While there exist numerous plain similarities among different kinds of calamity, each kind of emergency brings with it specific individual needs.

Our Pets

In the U.S., pets actually outnumber humans by approximately 61 million. Nearly 65% of all households own a pet, Almost half own two or more. We own an estimated 73 million dogs, 95 million cats. We spend between $1500 and $2000 per year on a dog, over $900 for a cat, including the vet, food, boarding, grooming, supplements, treats and pet toys. There are no estimates for emergency supplies.

Hurricane Katrina was a wake-up call for emergency preparation, not just for us but also for our family animals.

Of an estimated 250,000 animals left behind in Louisiana, only about 15,000 were ultimately saved. These suffered from heartworm disease, parasites, severe lack of water, trauma, wounds from debris and standing water, malnutrition, lethargy and exhaustion, according to the AMVA.

  •  Don’t leave your beloved pets behind if you have any choice.

What you can do:

Include your pet(s) in your emergency plan.
 We talked prior to this about the grandness of preparing a plan, writing it down, making sure everybody in the household comprehends it, and actually practicing the plan. The plan should include your pets.
Keep pet license and shots current. Make sure that a collar ID and rabies tags are on the pet at all times. The ID must include mobile telephone  number, as well as any temporary shelter address you have. You may apply tape to back of the Identification tag and write with permanent sharpie. Have a list with you of all boarding options (including friends/relatives) out of the direct risk area. Most emergency shelters won’t allow pets other than service animals that assist people with disabilities.

  • Bring your animals indoors well before a natural disaster.
  • Prepare an inside area in which pets can stay. Should be an area simple to clean; nowhere near breaking glass, wind, noise; and have adequate food and water. If danger of flooding, area should be as high as possible and/or allow access to higher ground.
  • Keep a strong leash around for each pet.
  • If possible, keep cats and dogs separate. They may get along with each other in typical times, but emergencies are not normal times.
  • Keep pets firmly leashed when outside home and car. Emergencies are very stressful, and panicked pets may panic and attempt to escape.
  • Have emergency supplies available to take with you on short notice. 

Things you need:

  •  Food: Dry, vacuum packed if possible. If food is wet food, be sure to have a can opener on hand. Enough for at least 3 days.
  •  Water: In sealed pouches or sealed one gallon jugs. Enough for 72 hours.
  •  Food/water dish(es).
  •  Medicines: If your pet is on medication, have a 14 day supply.
  •  Toys: A few select favorite toys.
  •  Carrier: A durable pet carrier.
  •  Plastic bags for waste. Litter box and litter for cat(s).
  •  Photo for ID if your your animal is lost or missing.
  •  Pet First Aid Kit.
  •  Backpack or 5 gallon covered bucket to hold the aforementioned supplies.

In Closing

The vital point to outlasting any catastrophe is preparing. If you have got to be an unexpected emergency statistic, be one of the good ones…and survive. Keep in mind…have a plan and practice it. No plan will cover every potential contingency. Best of luck, and continue being safe.