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In Case of Emergency

Living on a fault line, I’ve grown up with an awareness of earthquake preparedness.  But, like many people, the recent big ones in New Zealand and Japan remind me that knowing and doing are very different things! It does not even take a devastating earthquake to create an emergency for your family: house fires and floods, for example, might necessitate evacuating your home at short notice.  Can you care for your pets on the road?  And what is the plan if something happens to you? Can somebody else care for your pets later today if you can’t make it home?

An emergency kit for your pets should contain emergency supplies including:
  • Food and water for 7 days (an average-sized dog needs about four litres of water per day and cats, one litre)
  • Bowls for food and water, paper towel and a manual can opener
  • Medications
  • Familiar blanket
  • Small toy or chew toys
  • Sturdy leash, harness and muzzle (harnesses and muzzles are recommended for safety and security as pets may act unpredictably when stressed)
  • Litter box, scoopable litter and plastic bags
  • Long leash and yard stake
  • Poo bags
  • Carrier or crate – label with your name and contact information

In case others need to care for your pets for you in an emergency, it’s helpful to have a written record in the kit:

  • Feeding schedules and instructions, special needs, medical or behavioural problems, medication schedules
  • Pet insurance policy number, if applicable
  • Microchip number, tattoo number, tag number
  • Phone number, name and address of your veterinarian
  • Phone numbers where you can be reached
  • Phone numbers of an alternate contact if you can’t be reached
  • Phone numbers, name and address of doggie daycare or dog walker
  • Medical records including vaccination records
  • Current photo of your pets 
There are lots of pet emergency kit ideas on the internet to satisfy yourself that you have the kit that’s right for your pets. Get the knowledge, then go put that kit together!

I’ve made a business card-sized “ICE” {In Case of Emergency} which is a summary of important information about my fur kids that I carry in my wallet. If anything happens to me at any time (such as a medical emergency), others will know that there are precious family members in need of care and attention. It’s also handy for remembering my vet’s phone number!  My card includes notes about special diets and behaviour – if you have fewer pets, you can include all of the above recommended information.  I’ve included full-body shots as the paw and chest markings are going to be helpful distinguishing mine from the neighbourhood cats and dogs.  Today I’m making extra copies to leave with my neighbour and with my alternate contact.

If you need help creating an ICE card for your wallet drop me anemail.

Another good idea is to have a rescue alert sticker visible in one of your home windows (door window panel works great) that lists the number and species of animals residing in your home. If you evacuate with your animals during an emergency, and time allows, write “Evacuated” across the alert sticker.  I always leave my dogs home alone wearing their collars and tags in case they slip past emergency responders, with leashes and cat carrier easy to find.

Any other tips that work for you?  I’d love to hear them.
Laurie - March 20, 2011 - 7:59 pm

>Really useful information and excellent ideas – thanks for sharing!