Emergency preparedness

by | Campaigns General Pet Care |

If an emergency occurred that required you to evacuate or shelter in place, would you be ready? Emergency plans need to consider your entire family, including your furry family members, and must include a survival kit containing everything you will need for the first 72 hours of an emergency. 

Creating a Pet Emergency Survival Kit:

  • 72- hour food supply, including bowls and a can opener
  • 72-hour water supply
  • Blankets/towels
  • Cleaning supplies, paper towels, waste bags
  • Toys
  • Leash, muzzle and harness or collar
  • Litter pan, litter, plastic bags and scooper
  • A sturdy pet carrier for each animal to allow for easy transport
  • Medications 
  • A pet first aid kit – see the full list by species 
  • ID tags and microchip number
  • Flashlight
  • Medical records, veterinarian’s name and contact number
  • Current photo of your pet, along with their name, address and brief description, including unique markings that would help identify them
  • Information on your pets feeding schedule, temperament/behavior, medical concerns
  • List of boarding facilities and hotels that are with 50km that can accommodate pets 

Emergency kit supplies should be kept in a waterproof container that is easily accessible and can be transported easily (a plastic container with a lid that seals works well). You should check your emergency kit twice a year and update it as necessary. Ensure that there is always fresh water and food, medication and restock any items that may have been used from it.

Have an evacuation plan 

If it’s too dangerous for you to stay, it’s too dangerous for your pet to stay. If you must evacuate, take your pets with you. They could be lost, injured or killed in a disaster. You also have no way of knowing if, or when, you will be able to return for your pets. Have a plan in place to evacuate all of you, including your animals. 

The Ontario SPCA urges pet caregivers to have an evacuation plan in place to ensure that you have a safe place to take your pet, and a method to transport them to safety. Ask about your municipality’s evacuation centre locations and pet policies relating to evacuation. Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area and check their policy on accepting pets during an emergency. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they could shelter your pets during an emergency.

Evacuate early 

Evacuate early if you are aware of an impending emergency, such as a natural disaster like a storm. Don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders, which can make it more difficult to evacuate with pets. Evacuating before conditions become severe keeps everyone safer and reduces stress levels. Remember to take your survival kit with you to ensure you have the essentials you will need. 

Request a free emergency decal 

For more emergency planning resources, and to request a free emergency decal to place on your front door to let first responders know there are pets inside, visit ontariospca.ca/EP