Animals in disaster

A preparedness checklist

Posted: Monday, December 12, 2005

If you’ve read this column before, then by now you know that disaster preparedness begins with a plan and a kit.

If your “family” in-cludes animals — whether it’s the family dog, a back-talking exotic bird, horses or an entire dog team — you need to make room for them in your plan and they’ll need their own “disaster kit.”

Here are some suggested items for your animal’s disaster kit (this is not ment to be a complete listing. Family must evaluate what its own needs are:

Small pets:

· Water (Don’t forget water bottles and tube sippers, if needed);

· Food (Make sure to rotate the stored emergency food so it never gets too old);

· Carrier (Airline crate, hutch, etc.);

· Bedding and cleaning supplies;

· Records (Copies of immunizations are particularly important for ferrets); and a

· A current photo.

· Leashes, collars

Dogs and Cats:

· Water (About 1 quart per day for a 10 pound animal; about 1 gallon per day for a 40 pound animal);

· Food (Rotate for freshness; include a non-electric can opener if necessary— you never know weather power will be available or when it may be restored );

· Bedding (Newspaper to line crates, blankets, towels, etc.);

·Litter and a box or pan for cats;

· Leashes, collars, I.D. tags, photo;

· Plastic bags, paper towels for waste cleanup;

· Records (Shelters and boarding facilities may require them);

· Extra medication;

· Muzzle or roll of gauze (Even a gentle animal can become agitated in an emergency); and

· Familiar toys and treats ( These will help to reassure the animal.)


· Water (1/3 to half gallon per day for large birds’ drinking and bathing);

· Electrolyte solution and fruit juice if needed;

· Dry spray bottles for cleaning and misting off feathers;

· Food (Rotate supplies);

· Cleaning supplies;

· Cage, cover, paper lining;

· Clean towels to wrap bird for safe handling; and

· Cage toys.


· Water (8 to10 gallons per day; have at least a 48 hour supply);

· Food (Try to stay with the regular food to avoid colic);

· Extra halter, leads with tags on them for I.D.;

· Leg wraps;

· Immunizations, photo; and

· Basic first aid supplies.

As difficult as a disaster situation may be for you, it’s probably worse for your animals. Consider whatever you’ll need to keep them healthy and reasonably calm until you can return home or life returns to a normal pace.

Keep in mind that utilities you and your animal depend on may be unavailable for a while after a disaster. Take advantage of the opportunity to plan now for your pets in an emergency.

Kimberly Lorentzen writes for the Kenai Peninsula Citizen Corps in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management For more information on emergency planning, call 262-4910.

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