Don’t Forget Fido and Kitty in Emergency Planning


Although National Pet Preparedness Month was in June, that shouldn’t stop pet parents from creating an emergency survival kit for their dogs and cats.

The Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division said putting a pet emergency kit together ensures all members of a family are ready for tornadoes, floods and other emergencies.

“Emergencies and disasters come in many forms and could require you to leave your home for an undetermined amount of time,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the division. “Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets, so it’s important to include your pets in your readiness plan.”

And emergency kits aren’t just for cats and dogs, according to one veterinarian.

“Planning ahead for all members of your household is key,” said State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, DVM. “For many Michiganders, pets are a part of their family, and including them in the household emergency plan helps protect them in the event of a disaster. Your furry, feathered, finned and scaled family members are depending on you.”

Make sure your emergency kits – for humans and pets – are stored in a safe, easy-to-access location. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, items should be stored in airtight plastic bags, and the bags placed in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A kit for pets should include:

  • Pet food, water and bowls
  • Pet carrier, leash and collar
  • Photo of your pet or ID and a photo of you with your pet
  • Immunization, veterinary records and pet medications
  • First aid kit
  • Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, and out-of-town friends and family
  • Toys, rope and sanitation bags

And while you’re putting your pets’ kit together, take another look at the family emergency preparedness kit and make sure it contains:

  • Water – 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cellphone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Prescription medications
  • Nonprescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Officials say to check your kit often to see if any items have been compromised and to replace food beyond its expiration date.

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after an emergency or disaster, visit


Tags: pet safety

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