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 companion animal, along with their name, address and brief description, including unique markings that would help identify them
  • Information on your animal’s feeding schedule, temperament/behaviour, medical concerns
  • List of boarding facilities and hotels that are within 50km that can accommodate companion animals

Emergency kit supplies should be kept in a waterproof container that is easily accessible and can be transported conveniently (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 you must evacuate, and it’s safe to do so, take your pets with you. The Ontario SPCA urges animal caregivers to have an evacuation plan in place to ensure that you have a safe place to take your furry friend, 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 animals during an emergency. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they could shelter your furry friends during an emergency. 

Evacuate early  

Evacuate early if you are aware of an impending emergency, such as a natural disaster like a tornado. Don’t wait for mandatory evacuation orders, which can make it more difficult to evacuate with pets. Evacuating before conditions become severe helps keep everyone safer and reduces stress levels.    

Remember to take your survival kit with you to ensure you have the essentials you will need.