A 2012 study from the Humane Society shows that 33% of all US households own at least one cat. It also shows that 39% own at least one dog. To some people, a pet may just be an animal, but to many, Fido and Fluffy are extensions of the family. With this being the case, it is fairly surprising to me how few preppers remember to pack an emergency kit for their pets.
I have heard too often that pets will be able to “make their own way” and that it is their natural instinct to survive. The truth of the matter is, most house trained cats and dogs don’t make it very far on their own. The average life span of a stray animal is cut nearly in half compared to that of a house pet.
With that being said, I urge any of you with pets to make sure that you consider them when making your preparations.
If you believe bringing your pet with you during an evacuation is not an option, there are other solutions for you.
- Contact your veterinarian and ask for a list of their preferred boarding facilities.
- Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter for pets.
- Ask trusted sources outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
If you do plan on taking your pet with you, it is very important to create a Pet Evacuation Kit or PEK handy for your pets. This kit is not unlike your own Bug Out Bag and will contain all of the same basic ingredients.
Keep this PEK with your personal go bags and make sure that everyone in the family knows where they are. This kit should be clearly marked and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:
- Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or purchase one online)
- 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (make sure that you follow the first in first out rule with pet food as well as human food)
- Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans work well, are inexpensive and usually come with lids to keep the smell down)
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
- Pet feeding dishes