Creating an emergency kit for your pet

It’s important to have an emergency kit in case of a disaster.

You need extra food, water and clothes, but it’s also important to have supplies for your pets.

Monty Burich, who is a volunteer with the American Red Cross, said a lot of things that are in your emergency kit should also be available for your pet too.

“Probably, the most important thing to have in your bag is documentation,” said Burich. “Make sure you have your vaccine records and some information about yourself including address, your veterinarian and maybe an out of area contact so that you can reconnect with your pets at a later time if you become separated.”

Red Cross shelters only allow service animals. Burich suggests contacting local animal shelters or veterinarians because they could help you house your animals.

You should keep your pet’s emergency kit where you keep your personal kit.

“Some of the best places are near your front door, or in a central location in your home where it’s easy to grab and go,” said Burich.

The Red Cross has a list of items that should be included in your pet’s emergency kit:

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.
  • Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener if you pet eats canned food.
  • Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help to eliminate mistaken identity and confusion.
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.
  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.