Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, hazardous material spills—disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. If you think you will never have to evacuate unless you live in a flood plain, near an earthquake fault line or in a coastal area, you may be tragically mistaken. It is imperative that you make preparations to evacuate your family and your pets in any situation. In the event of a disaster, proper preparation will pay off with the safety of your family and pets
Every member of your family should know what he or she needs to take when you evacuate. You also need to prepare supplies for your pet. Stock up on nonperishables well ahead of time, add perishable items at the last minute, and have everything ready to go at a moment's notice. Keep everything accessible, stored in sturdy containers (duffel bags, covered trash containers, etc.) that can be carried easily.
In your disaster kit, you should include:
1. Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container and a first aid kit. A pet first aid book is also good to include.
2. Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and carriers to transport pets safely and to ensure that your pets can't escape. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for hours at a time while you have taken shelter away from home. Be sure to have a secure cage with no loose objects inside it to accommodate smaller pets. These may require blankets or towels for bedding and warmth, and other special items.
3. Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them in case you and your pets become separated and to prove that they are yours.
4. Food and water for at least three days for each pet, bowls, cat litter and litter box, and a manual can opener.
5. Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care.
6. Pet beds and toys, if you can easily take them, to reduce stress.
7. Other useful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach.
Source: The Humane Society of the United States