DISASTER PLANNING FOR YOUR PET

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Disaster planning smallrectangleYour household should include a disaster kit for your animals as part of your overall disaster planning. This kit should include:

* Leashes for both dogs and cats.

* A health record of your pet’s vaccination history, your veterinarian’s number and address and any other pertinent information on medical problems. If your pets take medications, be sure to include a week’s supply and rotate the medicine so that it does not expire.

* Food and water for seven days. Plan one gallon of water each day for a medium size dog and about a quart a day for small dogs and cats. Foods should be in sealed, watertight containers and should be rotated so as to keep it fresh.

* Carriers for all small animals should be readily available.

* Current photographs of all pets should be in the kit. This will help shelters identify them if they become lost and are picked up by animal control.

* Include a list of friends, kennels and veterinarians that your pets can stay with during a disaster.

* First aid kit, blankets, towels, muzzles and a manual can opener.

* Food and water bowls for dogs and cats.

* Plastic bags and a scooper for animal waste.

* Seven day supply of cat litter.

Other considerations:

All pets should wear a collar and an identification tag that give their name, your name and telephone number. Include an out-of-state relative’s telephone number that can be contacted in case your local line is out. Consider having your pet permanently identified with a microchip. If your pet is lost, periodically check with your relative to see if authorities have found your pet and called. Post flyers/pictures and continually check with all shelters within 20 miles.

Keep your gas tank at least half full and remember to evacuate early and take your pets with you. If you have large animals, keep your trailer in good condition and stocked with appropriate foods. After rains, empty all containers so they will not become stagnant breeding centers for mosquitoes, bacteria and protozoa that can cause illness in your pet.

– Warren Eckstein –