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  • Crystal Chandler, LVT

How to create an emergency "go bag" for your pet


Courtesy of DVM360:

"Natural disasters can strike on a few moments’ notice, like a tornado, or a few days’ notice, like a hurricane. When evacuation is a necessity, having basic supplies on hand for pets is a big part of making a stressful period go smoother and ensures that your pet has exactly what it needs for those first few days.

According to, a government public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man made disasters, a good rule of thumb is to keep a Go bag of the following items handy in a an easy-to-grab-and-transport container, such as a plastic tub with a lid.

• Food—at least three days’ worth in an airtight, waterproof container

• Water—at least three days of water, in addition to the amount of water packed for human family members

• Medications and medical records

• Important paperwork pertaining to the pet—this includes registration information if that state requires a pet to be registered or licensed, adoption records, vaccination records and microchip information. The address associated with the microchip should be up to date.

• First aid supplies—basic supplies include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick preventives, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution.

• A collar or harness with ID, rabies tag and leash

• A crate or pet carrier—owners should have a sturdy crate that is safe and appropriately sized for the pet if they need to evacuate.

• Items for sanitation—a supply of litter and a litter box should be available if appropriate. Other items for sanitation include newspapers, paper towels, trash bags and household bleach.

• A picture of the pet and owner together—should the pet owner become separated from their pet, the picture can help prove ownership. Writing information about the pet on the back, such as species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing features can help others assist with reuniting the two.

•Familiar items, such as treats, toys and bedding that the pet is familiar with to reduce stress. also suggests planning ahead and knowing which hotels and shelters in your area or along your evacuation route will accept pets so you can go straight there and keep that list in the Go bag. It’s important to locate a veterinarian in the area that you’ve evacuated to in case the pet needs medical care and keep their contact information in the bag. In the event that your home is destroyed, it’s also a good idea to locate a boarding facility that could house your pet for a while after the natural disaster is over."

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