Preparing Your Cats for Disaster

Source: – By , Guide

Have a Plan

Cats Thunder, Houdini, Chloe, and Mittens wait out tornado warning in a bathtubCats  wait out tornado warning in a bathtub
Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, and tornadoes are for the birds, but unless we want to be like “Chicken Littles,” or the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, we need to face facts and make preparations. The facts are that hundreds of pets are lost every year to disasters, and, many more are rescued but never reunited with their owners because of lack of identification. So, plan now to avoid future confusion.Locate a Temporary Refuge for your Cats

No one wants to evacuate their homes, but if you are ever forced to do so, you will need to evacuate your cats too. The American Red Cross says, “Leaving pets behind, even if you try to create a safe place for them, is likely to result in their being injured, lost, or worse.”

The Red Cross will not accept pets at their emergency shelters, so make a list of “pet-friendly” motels in case you need to temporarily relocate with your cats. As an alternative, ask your veterinarian and/or your local animal shelter if they provide emergency care for pets following disasters. Obtain the numbers to several veterinarians outside your immediate area in the event your own veterinarian’s office has to close because of the emergency. Contact a friendly neighbor and make a reciprocal agreement to take charge of each others pets in the event of an emergency when one of you is not home. Exchange cell phone numbers if you both have them, and make sure both of you know the locations of your Pet Emergency Kits. Make a list of all the above phone numbers for your Emergency Kit.

Preparing for Evacuation

All the planning in the world won’t be of much help if your vehicle breaks down, especially when fleeing a flooded area or an area with a wildly spreading fire. Please put these precautions at the top of your planning list:

  • Keep Your Cell Phone Charged
  • Keep Your Vehicle Running Well
  • Keep Your Gas Tank Full at All TimesThe other day my son and I were coming home from a medical appointment and our gas tank was running low. We had plenty to get home, but: On the curvy, hilly, two-lane road, we ran into stopped traffic. The outside temperature was 105, and we had to keep the engine running for the air conditioner to operate. We sat there for over an hour, worrying, because there was a forest fire about 10 miles away, and our home is in the middle of a forest, and we had no idea why the traffic was stopped.

Vehicle Emergency Kit

  1. Two-Gallon Jug of Water
  2. Powerful LED Flashlight
  3. Emergency Roadside Flares
  4. Emergency Tire Pump Air Kit
  5. Engine Oil
  6. Fire Extinguisher
  7. Red Traffic Cones

Prepare a Pets’ Emergency Supply Kit

Include the following items:

  1. Extra supplies of medication, medical records, a pet first-aid book and a first-aid kit. Ask your veterinarian for a mild tranquilizer to use in case of emergencies. (Rotate the medication regularly to keep the expiration date fresh.) Here’s a basic list for your first-aid kit:
    • tweezers
    • cotton batting, gauze bandages and pads
    • adhesive tape
    • first-aid cream – a triple-antibiotic
    • antiseptic spray
    • hydrogen peroxide
    • rectal thermometer
    • scissors
  2. Don’t forget other daily supplies, as well as necessary records and photos:
    • Food, can opener, water, bowls, litter pan and litter.
    • Anti-stress remedies1, such as Bach’s Rescue Remedy can be of invaluable help in calming down frightened cats.
    • Cat carrier or portable crate .(A collapsible metal show crate will accommodate more than one cat.)
    • Pillow Cases. A pillow case can serve as a replacement for a crate for a frightened cat. If you have several cats, it may be the quickest and safest means of transportation.
    • Medical records, pertinent information about your cat and phone number of your veterinarian in the event you have to foster your cat in the interim.
    • Comfortable bedding for the crate. A blanket can be used for the dual purpose of bedding and wrapping an injured animal in to prevent shock.
    • Nail clippers, comb and/or brush.
    • Recent photos of your cats. Hopefully you won’t need them, but if any of your cats is lost in the confusion, you’ll want to place posters around the area without delay.

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Filed under Emergency Medicine, Preparing for Evacuation with pets

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