Potter League Pet Disaster Preparedness Tips

Hi folks, your friend Tuki here on my perch at the Potter League. I know it’s been quite a dry summer but we’re in the middle of hurricane season – although we don’t get too many here luckily and I thought you might like some advice on how to be prepared in case you need it. bug out with your pets. Remember that while it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pets either, so it’s best to have everything ready in one place so you can just grab your supplies and go! You will also need to prepare provisions for the humans in your family, but that is beyond the knowledge of this bird! Websites with information on how to plan for your human family include redcross.org and ready.gov. Now back to planning for your pets!

Find a pet shelter

Find out where emergency shelters are in your area and if they allow pets. Many other emergency shelters allow pets (with their owners, of course!), but you should also identify some local pet-friendly hotels or friends/relatives that you and your pets can stay with. stay temporarily. You can contact local shelters and boarding schools to see if they can provide emergency shelter if needed, but make sure all of these options are far enough away that they don’t need to evacuate too. You may also want to consider identifying a permanent caregiver for your pets in case something happens to you.

Don’t Forget Pet Safety

If your pet is not microchipped, consider getting it. It’s the easiest way for your pet to find their way home if you’re separated. Make sure your pet has a collar and tags with up-to-date information such as their name, phone number, and any urgent medical needs your pet may have. Make sure you have a carrier that can hold your pet comfortably and write the same information that is on your pet carrier’s tags.

What to bring

Just like the human members of your family, you’ll need an emergency kit for your pets so they have everything they need away from home. You should plan to bring enough supplies for about two weeks. It’s a good idea to have this kit packed up and ready all the time, but you’ll need to check it frequently and replace things that are outdated.

Crate or transport cage for each animal

Pet first aid kit – ask your vet which is best to include

· Food – canned or dry foods are recommended as you may not have access to refrigeration. If you bring canned food, make sure the cans have a removable lid or include a manual can opener in your kit.

· Bottled water – you’ll probably want to include this in your human emergency kit as well, so make sure you have enough for all your family members, furry and otherwise!

Copies of your pets’ medical records, including any medications they are taking

Animal care during floods or hurricanes should be planned in advance.

· Recent photographs of your pet(s) in case you are separated. These can be copied and distributed to shelters as well as used to make posters to help locate your pet.

If your pet is on medication, make sure you have at least a 7 day supply

· Food and water bowls. Collapsible bowls are great to include in the kit because they don’t take up as much space as plastic or metal bowls.

· For cats, disposable litter boxes and scoop litter

For dogs, include crate liners if your dog is untrained

· Blankets or towels to give your pet something comfortable to sleep on. Typically, pet beds are too big and bulky to carry around, so you’ll probably want to leave them behind.

· Cleaning products such as paper towels, liquid soap, disinfectant and disposable garbage bags. You can also include dry pet shampoo or cleaning wipes for your pet in case they need cleaning.

· Favorite toys. Being evacuated will be stressful for your pet as well as you, so having a favorite toy with you can provide some comfort. You may not be able to keep up with your usual walking routine, so a toy they like to play with can help them exercise.

return home

Coming home after a disaster can be as stressful for your pet as it is for you. Watch out for debris or substances that can cause damage if stepped on or swallowed. Observe their behavior. Some pets may become anxious or defensive, especially if the disaster has affected the smells they associate with home. Just like you, it will take some time for your pet to readjust and be comfortable at home again.

Well folks, I hope this helps, but I also hope you never need to use these tips!

‘See you next time, your friend


Mail your questions to Tuki, PO Box 412, Newport, RI 02840, or email [email protected] The Potter League for Animals can be found at 87 Oliphant Lane in Middletown and online at potterleague.org.