Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets

posted: by: Animal Hospital of New Albany Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Pet Emergency Preparedness

Having a plan in place and practicing the plan prior to a disaster or emergency will help you accomplish a successful evacuation and/or maintain the safety of your pets.

 How to prepare for your pet in a natural disaster:

  •  Always keep your pet’s vaccinations current
  • Take photos of each pet and store in plastic bags along with other important pet papers, such as rabies certificate, vaccination records, and license.
  • Prepare a disaster kit for each pet.
  • Keep a properly fitted collar on your pet with current license, rabies, and identification tags. 
  • Consider permanent microchip identification.
  • Start a neighborhood buddy system to check on one another’s pets during a disaster.  Also exchange vet information and include a permission slip authorizing your “buddy” to get necessary treatment for your pet.
  • Determine the best place to leave your pet in case of a disaster.  Identify a place in your home as well as an off-site location in the event of a disaster.  Prearrange an evacuation site such as home of family/friend, veterinarian, pet-friendly hotel, or boarding kennels.
  • Secure a pet safety alert window sticker or decal on your home’s windows or doors to let it be known to emergency personnel that pets could be trapped inside your home.

 What to include in a Small Animal Evacuation Kit:

This should be assembled in an easy-to-carry, waterproof container, and stored in an easily accessible location away from areas with temperature extremes.

  • 2-week supply of food (rotate every 6 months)
  • 2-week supply of water in plastic gallon jugs with secure lids
  • Flashlight and batteries (rotate batteries every 6 months)
  • Cage/carrier (one for each animal) labeled with your contact information
  • Manual can opener and spoon for canned food
  • Cat/wildlife gloves
  • Photos of each pet, stored in plastic bag
  • Copies of veterinary records and proof of ownership, preferably in plastic
  • Emergency contact list, including veterinarian’s name, address, and phone
  • Familiar items to make pet feel comfortable such as favorite toys, blankets, treats
  • Pet First Aid Kit
  • Instructions for diet and medications of each pet
  • Medications needed for each pet
  • Leash and collar or harness for each pet
  • Litter, litter pan, litter scoop for cats
  • Muzzles for dogs
  • No-spill food and water dishes
  • Paper towels
  • Stakes and tie-outs
  • Trash bags and/or “poop” bags
What to include in Small Animal First Aid Kit:

This should be assembled in an easy-to-carry, waterproof container, and stored in an easily accessible location away from areas with temperature extremes.

  • Activated charcoal (liquid) in case of poisoning
  • Anti-diarrheal liquid or tablets
  • Antibiotic ointment for wounds
  • Antibiotic eye ointment
  • Bandage scissors
  • Bandage tape
  • Betadine (povidone-iodine) or Nolvasan (chlorhexidine) scrub solution
  • Cotton bandage rolls
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Elastic bandage rolls
  • Eye rinse (sterile)
  • Flea and tick prevention and treatment
  • Gauze pads and rolls
  • Popsicle sticks that can be used as splints
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Latex gloves
  • Liquid dish detergent (mild wound and body cleanser)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medications and preventatives (minimum 2-week supply, with clearly labeled instructions)  Provide veterinary & pharmacy contact information for refills.
  • Non-adherent bandage pads
  • Saline solution for rinsing wounds
  • Sterile lubricant, water-based
  • Styptic powder (clotting agent)
  • Syringe or eyedropper
  • Thermometer, digital
  • Tourniquet
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Tweezers

 Important Information:

 For a 16 page detailed article from American Veterinary Medical Association called “Saving the Whole Family,” go to www.avma.org/disaster.


Animal Hospital of New Albany                                              Ohio Veterinary Medical Association 

3033 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Rd.                                      3168 Riverside Dr.

New Albany, OH  43054                                                         Columbus, OH  43221                       

614-855-9643 / 614-855-0747                                                614-486-7253


Disaster Area 2 Office (Ohio’s area)                                      USDA Missing Pet Network

1 Baltimore Place, Suite 300                                                  http://www.missingpet.net/

Atlanta, GA  30308