Emergencies can happen at any time. In Ontario they usually take the form of power outages, extreme weather, and flooding. As we all know from the ice storms of the past winter, and frequently from extreme summer storms and heat that wreak havoc on power delivery, these emergencies can be much more than an inconvenience. You should always be prepared to care for yourself and your family, including your pets during a disaster, and for at least 72 hours after. In the case of your pet, your preparation should consider three possible situations:
- You may be caring for your pet yourself.
- It may be necessary to hand your pet’s care to someone else, such as a neighbour, or boarding facility while your situation stabilizes.
- You may become accidentally separated from your pet during the emergency.
Animals are very sensitive to atmospheric changes and may seek shelter on their own. If we have extreme weather warnings, bring your pets inside to avoid them becoming lost.
Separate dogs and cats, even those who normally get along–pets may become anxious and irrational during an emergency, and act erratically.
If you must evacuate your home, don’t leave your pets behind. Determine ahead of time where there are nearby facilities that can take them in.
As well as preparing a household emergency kit, prepare a Pet Emergency Kit for your dogs and cats.
Pet Emergency Kit
Food and Water
- 72 hour non-perishable food supply
- 72 hour water supply
- Don’t forget the (manual) can opener!
Shelter & Restraint
Pets may become anxious during an emergency, or need to be transported to a safe location.
- Pet Carriers
- Leashes & harness
- Litter box, litter, scoop and plastic bags
- Blankets & towels
- Newspapers for sanitary purposes
- Medications, Insulin, and instructions on dosage.
- Veterinarian’s name and contact number
- Pet first aid kit
- Medical notes regarding any of your pet’s history or treatable conditions
Lost Pets & Outside Care
- Current photo of your pet along with their name, address and brief description
- ID tags and Micro chip number (Make sure your information is up-to-date on the tags and with your microchip company.)
- List of boarding facilities, hotels that can accommodate pets
- Information on your pets feeding schedule, temperament/behavior.
Refresh your pet’s kit twice a year. Rotate out the food, water and medication, and update any information. Refill any items that may have been used or removed.
It may seem like a hassle, but preparing your family and pets for a short term emergency will greatly improve your chances of coming through it without undue hardship, distress or injury.