Will Your Pets Survive A Disaster?
When putting away emergency supplies that will help you and your family survive a disaster, do not forget to give some thought to the needs of your pets. Contrary to common belief, cats and dogs cannot simply be turned loose to survive on their own during this time, most of them will not be able to survive. Cats would probably have a better chance of surviving than dogs, as they are solitary hunters and are not quite as dependent on humans as are dogs. Dogs, on the other hand, except for some hardy outdoor breeds, would have little or no possibility of living through a disaster.
Just as you are being careful to accumulate the supplies that will be needed by your family during a disaster, such as food and water, your pets will also need supplies. One gallon of water per person is required for survival per day, and you should also put aside water for your pets. The one gallon rule is a good one for dogs, and what the cats do not drink can be used for household needs. Keep a supply of dog or cat food on hand, in a sealed container. The Travel Kit Food and Water for your pet is a great long lasting supply. Most kibbles have a long shelf life as long as the bag has not been opened, and you can also keep some extra canned food on hand if your pet eats this.
You can use supplies from the family first aid kit for your pets, but most pet owners prefer to have a separate kit for their animals. Pets will need basically the same things a human would, but it would be a good idea to invest in a self-adhering tape that will not stick to fur, making it much easier to change dressings. If any of your pets are on prescription medications you should have extra in the pet’s first aid kit, as well as a copy of the prescription.
There are also kits for the rest of your dog and/or cats needs. The Catastrophy Kit for Cats and the DogGoneIt Kit for Dogs are excellent because not only do they include first aid and food, but also blankets and toys to make it easier to keep them dry and happy in any situation.
Keep Them Close
At no time should your cat or dog be allowed outside by itself during an emergency or disaster. The dog should always be on a leash, and it is actually best to keep a cat in a crate for the duration. Animals can become frightened and disoriented even in their own backyards during a time like this, and confining and controlling them will keep them from running off and possibly getting lost or injured.
Do not allow your dog to drink out of any puddles outside and do not let the dog wade through standing water, there could be sharp objects in it that could cut their feet. Make trips outside brief and keep the dog away from any downed power lines.
If you are someone who enjoys more exotic pets such as tortoises, parrots, iguanas, and tropical fish, you will have to try to provide a means of keeping these animals warm if the disaster occurs during cold weather. Having a supplemental source of heat, such as a wood burning stove or a kerosene heater, can often mean the difference between life and death for these delicate pets. Make sure that you have plenty of their food on hand, as well.