By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind
Every year, once I’ve gotten through the Dreaded Tax Season, I like to take stock of my pet emergency kit. It’s a good time of year to do it, before the spring and summer storms start in earnest.
What is an emergency kit? It’s an easy-to-carry, always-stocked bag containing everything you might need if you have to seek shelter with the pets; it also does double duty as a vacation/travel kit. Inside our bag I like to keep the following basic items:
- Food, water, and medicine (three days’ worth for each pet)
- First aid kit (including rolls of gauze and/or some kind of self-adhering bandages)
- An extra collar and leash for each pet
- Collapsible travel bowls
- A bunch of poop bags
- A couple of trash bags
- Muzzles (in case you have to shelter with other people/pets)
- Clorox wipes
- Duct tape
- Paper towels
- A half dozen puppy pads (good for absorbing accidental messes or lining crates)
- A couple of these fancy space blankets
- A zip lock bag containing pictures, descriptions, contact info, designated caregiver info, and up-to-date health certificates for each pet. Technically, you should have current health certificates any time you cross state lines with your pets, and in an emergency situation you don’t want to risk having your pets turned away for lack of documentation.
You should rotate the food and medicine out of the kit periodically, to make sure it doesn’t go stale or expire. If you have special travel crates for each pet, keep the emergency kit with the crate; having everything in one place will save valuable time if you need to evacuate in a hurry.
Everyone’s pet emergency kit is going to be different, and some of the supplies (like water) will overlap with your people emergency kit. The ASPCA has a good checklist for species-specific disaster preparedness kits.
Updating and replenishing the emergency kit is a good reminder to check on the other logistics of your dog’s life as well. Is the microchip information accurate? Are the buckles on the collars and the clips on the leashes still sound? Are the tags still legible? Do I need to renew dog park or city licenses? Is it time to schedule a wellness visit/get more medication/sign up for training classes?
If you own or run a pet care business, check out the Pet Care Facility Emergency Preparedness course from IBPSA!