WHAT IF YOU COULD NOT LEAVE HOME?
We rely on the convenience of being able to run to the grocery store or the pharmacy whenever we want. In the event of a local or regional disaster, not only might you be unable to leave home, but also the transportation lines bringing supplies in might be disrupted. Local utilities might be interrupted, and water sources could be contaminated. You need to plan for your pets as well as yourself.
A. Water - Water supplies could be cut off or contaminated. A two week supply of tap water stored in plastic bottles should be set aside for each pet, in addition to your own supply. Count on your pet drinking approximately one ounce of water for each pound of body weight every day. Your pets will be less reluctant than you to drink from a swimming pool or a creek, but you should have a method available to filter or decontaminate that water.
B. Food - Grocery stores and pet stores depend on multiple deliveries each week to keep up their stock. If supply lines are closed, the pet food shelves will be empty in a few days. You should keep a two week supply of pet food on hand at all times. Don't run low, and rotate your stores to be sure the food is fresh. If the possibility of flooding or hazardous waste contamination exists in your area, you should keep supplies of canned food on hand as an added precaution. Again, rotate your stores.
C. Medications - Veterinarians do no keep large inventories of drugs on hand; they also rely on frequent deliveries. Pharmacies do the same, and their drugs would be earmarked for human use in the event of an emergency. If your pet is on regular medication, you should be sure that you have a two week supply on hand at all times.
D. Environmental Concerns - Unless your pets are very young or very old, temperature extremes will be of less concern to them than they will be to you. If the power goes off, a dog or a cat can warm up a small space, such as a box or a crate, with its own body heat. If the weather is hot, you will need to be able to open a screened window for ventilation, or move pets to a cool basement. Pets are able to see and maneuver in very low light conditions. Will you be able to provide light and heat for yourself that do not present a risk to your pets in terms of burns or asphyxiation? Remember that you may not be able to dispose of wastes in your normal manner. Stockpile some large plastic bags just in case this is an issue.
E. Small Animal First Aid Kit
Adhesive Tape (1 & 2 inch)
Saline Solution (for eyes and wounds)
Elastic Bandage Rolls
Gauze Pads and Rolls
Syringe or Eyedropper