Planning Your Disaster Kit

February 5, 2014

When the unthinkable happens and you have to evacuate animals out of a shelter, what is the bare minimum you need to get your pets where they need to go? While disaster preparedness for animals is often aimed at the pet owner, some of the same information applies to shelters as well.

Have a Plan

One thing you need in your disaster preparedness kit is the evacuation plan. Where you evacuate to depends on what disaster could befall you.  A hurricane or a wild fire may take out a large area and may require an evacuation zone of several miles or hundreds of miles, depending on the severity. Your evacuation plan needs to have several back ups in case more than one evacuation area falls in the danger zone.

Animal  Health and Vaccination Records

Having records on all the animals is imperative to be sure that all are healthy and will not spread disease where they are going.

Collars and Leashes/ID Tags

Within your disaster preparedness for animals kit should be leashes, collars, and ID tags.  Every animal from the shelter will need some way of being identified if it gets out. Another possibility is to use ID microchips which can be read by various pet microchip readers.

Travel Crates

When evacuating a shelter, you can’t have enough travel crates and carriers. Unless your shelter already has portable cages, you should plan on having enough crates to keep the animals safe and secure.

Food and Potable Water

Carrying enough food and water for all those animals is daunting, but if you’re forced to evacuate, food and water are going to be high on the list. Depending on how bad the disaster is, you may not be able to make it out of the area in a timely fashion.  Plan on at least three to seven days worth, according to the ASPCA. These need to be split up with the transport vehicles.

Animal Emergency First-Aid Kit

You should also bring your animal first-aid kit.  No matter how many transport vehicles you have, each one should have their own first-aid kit in case they get separated.  Have a veterinarian come up with the best supplies for your kits.

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