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ALL HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST: CATS & DOGS
Click here for a copy of the ALL HAZARDS PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST for Small Animals.

Click HERE to download the FREE Evacuation Notice - No Pets Left Behind Evacuation Card.
Click HERE to download the FREE Evacuation Notice - Live Animals Left Behind Evacuation Card.

The following checklist will help you prepare a Wag’N Grab’N Go evacuation pack for each animal in your household. The evacuation kit should be assembled in easy-to-carry, waterproof containers.

Duffle bags and backpacks are generally easier to carry than heavy buckets or boxes. Waterproof backpacks are even better and can be found online by searching “waterproof backpack” on Amazon.com.

It is important that you become familiar with the items in your kit and their various uses. It is also important to keep a special calendar for perishable items such as food and medication.

Once your first version of the Wag’N Grab’N Go Bag is completed, go out in the backyard, and practice scenarios such as “Oh Oh Paw bleed” (did you store that pet first aid kit all the way down at the bottom…); DogOn Dinner Time (access water, kibble, dishes, purify water if necessary, etc); Wag time (did you bring any toys or things to keep your dog busy…does he/she like it, etc); Getting Wet (pretend to have to cross body of water, what do you need, how do you access it, and how do you keep things dry; On The Road Wag (make sure everything fits in the car -crates, pets, supplies, family members- and still allows for the safe transportation of people and pets. Talk to your neighbors. Figure out who can do what and when and who has access to what); Walk About (take a 45 minute walk with your evac backpack, your pets Wag’N Grab’N Go bag, your pets and members of the family. That time frame sets will outline basic weight and accessibility issues along the walk). These are just examples. Don’t limit yourself to them. Your imagination is your only limit. As you practice you will reassess accessibility, priority and quantity of many of the components. Repack. Practice again. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. A NON REHEARSED PLAN IS A BAD PLAN!

If you haven’t already - TAKE A PET FIRST AID CLASS!
Do it preferably BEFORE an emergency strikes!
Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued, do not wait until the last minute to evacuate – OBEY EVACUATION ORDERS!
Also make sure to be ready for SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS.
YOUR KIT SHOULD BE READY FOR BOTH OPTIONS.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND!

WHAT I SHOULD INCLUDE IN MY PET DISASTER PACK

ESSENTIALS

  • PET ID TAGS – Your pet should wear a collar with its regular identification, county license, microchip & rabies tag AT ALL TIMES. ALSO know where you can go. If you plan on staying with family/friends from out of town add a tag (no need to replace) with their information (where you will be).

    Your Main Identification tag should include a cell phone number you will have access to during the event and after the event.

    SUGGESTION: Include a backup leash/harness, collar and ID tag for each pet in your pet’s emergency supply kit. If possible, include your veterinarian’s name, location, and phone number.
     
  • MEDICAL ID TAG - If your pet is taking medication regularly AND/OR has mild to severe allergies – have that information engraved on a separate pet tag and attach to collar(s)
     
  • MICROCHIP YOUR PETS –There is no way to predict in advance which animals may become separated from their owners. Therefore, preemptive microchip identification along with easily accessible owner contact information is essential. Registered pet owners have a near-certain chance for seamless reunion in the aftermath of the emergency.

    If your pet has a microchip, call the company to register your pet’s information and make sure to keep that information updated! Also keep that number in your cell phone along with your membership number in case you need to activate their lost pet program.
     
  • LEASH - COLLAR – HARNESS: Consider Adding a Nylon Slip Leash and a long 16ft leash (to be used in case you MUST travel through flood waters) See “Dog Life Preserver”
     
  • DEDICATED CALENDAR: Include a calendar indicating when perishable foods and medications expirre and when they were last replaced.
     
  • PILLOWCASE or EvackSack for Cats for restraint and secure control
     
  • MUZZLE or roll of gauze to make a muzzle (in case your dog is injured).

    Remember that a pet that is in pain or moved into pain can bite and will bite!

    For cats make sure to include a cat muzzle.
     
  • THICK LEATHER GLOVES in case your dog is injured or very afraid.
     
  • PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE/DOG LIFE PRESERVER (if in a flood zone).
    Even if your pet is considered an excellent swimmer you want to make sure you keep control of him/her while travelling through flooded areas. The current might separate you or drag the pet away. A 16ft leash can be attached to the handle of the life preserver to maintain control and avoid choking.

    REMEMBER: If you think you need a life preserver, so does your pet! If you get a pet a life preserver, get yourself one too! The laws of physics apply to all living things!
     
  • PET CARRIERS with the following information indelibly printed: your name; phone number; address; a description of your dog (distinguishing marks, age, breed, sex, spayed, neutered, etc.); the name of your dog; microchip ID or tattoo ID, if any; pet insurance policy number; and the address and phone number where you or a contact person can be reached if you are not at home or out of town. Ideally you should have a traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, one for each pet. Dog kennels or collapsible cages should be large enough to hold two no-spill bowls and still allow enough room for your dog to stand and turn around.

    SUGGESTION: Familiarize your animals with evacuation procedures and cages/carriers.

    Take the cage/carrier out several times a year and put dog or cat treats inside with blankets and toys. Your goal is to reinforce positive feelings associated with the animal carrier. Again, you want to reduce stress during the event. Don’t wait for the event to find out your pet is not crate friendly!

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IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Place copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container and also add them to your kit. If your pet is micro chipped make sure you have that number available along with the provider’s contact information to activate their lost pet service should it become necessary.

  • PICTURE OF YOU WITH PET: Carry a photo of you and your pet for identification purposes. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.
     
  • LOST PET POSTER: Consider preparing waterproof “Lost Pet” signs with your animal’s photo attached, your name, pet gender and characteristics, known allergies & medical conditions AND room for information to be added at the time the pet is lost such as contact information; where pet was seen last, time and date lost, reward information, etc. This step is best accomplished NOW while you have time and access to all resources (photos, power, internet etc).
     
  • KNOW WHERE TO GO: As you are planning your various evacuation routes, contact hotels and animal shelters along your route in case you need to stop, and check various hotel/motel pet policies (during non emergency times) and make sure to ask a manager what their pet policy is during a disaster. You want to know that BEFORE YOU GET THERE! Also ask manager what regular pet policy fees are, and or if they will waive pet exclusion restrictions during emergencies. Get the name of the person you talk to ensure you have a valid and detailed reference to avoid price gauging.
     
  • EVACUATION CARDS: Download a free copy of the Wag’N Evacuation Cards.

    Print & laminate these forms. Keep them handy near an exit along with a permanent marker, tape or nails and hammer. Fill out and post on outside of property before evacuating!

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EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

Keep multiple paper and electronic copies

  • Numbers where you and your family members can be reached (pager, cell phone, work phone)
     
  • Your prearranged evacuation site
     
  • Out-of-state contact person
     
  • Your veterinarian (name, full address and phone numbers
     
  • List of secondary veterinarians (30-90 miles away, provides boarding)
     
  • Pet boarding facilities (local)
     
  • Pet boarding facilities (30-90 miles away)- Red Cross shelters DO NOT allow animals

    NOTE: Check with these facilities if they are open before you go. Also make sure to ask what their evacuation plans and procedures are. Better know what you are up against. You want to make sure the staff is dedicated and present during and immediately following the emergency. Staff members have families too and are not mandated to be there if this is a private facility.
     
  • Local Animal Control/ County Animal Shelter (regular & emergency hours of operation, address, phone number and policies)
     
  • Local Police Department (addresses and non emergency phone number)
     
  • Local Fire Department (address and non emergency phone number)
     
  • Local Public Health Department
     
  • Local Humane Society
     
  • Local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
     
  • “Pet-friendly” motels (in your immediate area, along your evacuation route and at the intended destination and immediate surroundings) Search for 90 miles radius.
     
  • Please visit these websites to find accommodations for your pets:
  • List of internet “lost and found” animal sites
  • Database centers if your dog is tattooed or has a microchip

    First make sure your pet is registered and that the registration information has been recently updated and is still valid.

    If pet gets lost call the 24-Hour Recovery Network that corresponds to the chip number. Same applies if you have found a pet & have scanned it successfully.
     
    • HomeAgain - Call 1-888-466-3242. Specialists are available 24/7.
    • Avid… Call: (800) 336-2843 Ext. 4
    • AKC-Trovan… Call: (800) 252-7894
       
  • How to determine what microchip you have

    First, count the digits/letters in the chip:
     
    • 9 numbers………. Avid (800) 336-2843
    • 10 numbers with the single letter A at the end…. Avid
    • 10 numbers/letters and does NOT begin with a 0….HomeAgain
    • 10 numbers beginning with a 000……………AKC Trovan
    • 15 digits…beginning with 985…………………HomeAgain

      NOTE:
      The alphabet letter O is not used in microchip numbers. It is always the number, 0.
      NOTE: All of the above networks offer cross-reference services, if you have called the wrong one.
       
  • ANIMAL POISON CONTROL CENTER(S)
     
    • ASPCA 1-888-426-4435 – Open 24/7 365 days a year. Charges $65 consultation fee.
       
    • National Animal Poison Control Center has two numbers:
      • 1-900-680-0000. When using the 900 number the charge is $20.00 for the first five minutes, then $2.95/minute thereafter.
      • 1-800-548-2423. When using the 800 number, the charge is $30.00 per case (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express only).
         
  • HUMAN POISON CONTROL CENTER 1-800-222-1222
    This toll-free number will put you in touch with the poison control center in your state. This number is FREE to call.

     
  • PET INSURANCE PROVIDERS
    Keep records of your Pet Insurance Policy Number, claim forms, phone number, and claims department address.
     
    • PetCare Insurance – Call 1-888-897-7387
      Call center hours: Eastern Time - 8:00AM to 9:00PM Monday through Friday and 9:00AM to 6:00PM on Saturday. Headquarter offices located in Ontario Canada.
    • Shelter Care Insurance - Call 1-866-375-7387
      Call center hours: Eastern Time - 8:00AM to 9:00PM Monday through Friday and 9:00AM to 6:00PM on Saturday
    • ASPCA Pet Insurance – Customer Service # Call 1-866-204-6764
      Call center hours: Eastern Standard Time - 8:00AM to 9:00PM Monday through Friday and 9:00AM to 5PM on Saturday
    • Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) – Customer Care, Call 1-800-540-2016
      Call Center Hours – Pacific Time – 5AM to 7PM Monday through Friday and 7AM to 3:30PM on Saturday
    • PetsBest Insurance – Customer Care, call 1-877-738-7237 ext 1
      Call Center Hours – Mountain Time – 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday and 10AM to 2PM on Saturday
    • PetPlan – Call 1-866-467-3875
      Call Center Hours – Eastern Time – 8:00AM to 10:30PM Monday through Friday; 8:30AM to 8:30PM on Saturday and 10AM to 6PM on Sunday

      *** This information is updated as frequently as possible however is subject to change by each company at any time without informing us. Please check each company’s website for accuracy.

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MEDICAL

MEDICATIONS: Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container. You may also add prescription and/or over-the-counter anti-diarrhea & anti nausea/ vomiting medication.

  • Medical conditions and medications (including drug name, dosage, and frequency of dosing)
  • Including heartworm & flea prevention medication
  • If the medication needs to remain refrigerated please make sure to have the right accommodations for it. (Example: cooler, ice packs, etc)

Don’t forget additional prescriptions (you want to keep a written copy of the actual prescription so that you have it on hand if you need to acquire more while out of town. Remember that communications might be down and that staff at your vet clinic may not be available to certify/resend/fax or otherwise communicate the facts to your temporary provider or pharmacy).

If your pet becomes fearful during storms, sudden changes in routine, or separation from you, contact your veterinarian regarding tranquilizers or calming remedies that could be included in your kit.

MEDICAL RECORDS: Required by shelters! That includes documentation on all recent vaccinations/immunization records. Especially rabies (certificate record is best), kennel cough, parvo virus, distemper, Feline Leukemia/Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Felv/FIV), heartworm, equine infectious anemia (Coggins test), tuberculosis, and brucellosis.

FIRST AID KIT: Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book. Or get a Wag’N Pet First Aid Kit at www.WAGNPETSAFETY.com.

SUGGESTION: We recommend you keep a Pet Passport for each pet (dog, cat, ferret) as the passport includes all of that information along with your microchip number, picture of you with pet, your contact information, surgery and allergy records!

SUGGESTION: Remember that you can scan your pet’s information and send it to yourself via email (granted you can gain access to the internet from where you are at the time the information is needed).

SUGGESTION: Get your own Wag’N Rover Respond’R. This handy toolkit lets you input your primary veterinarian and emergency veterinarian information, known allergies, known diet, immunization records, upload pet pictures, update your records 24/7 on your computer should any of the data need updating, lost pet posters, and have the peace of mind that your plan can be implemented by first responders, good Samaritans, family members.

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SANITATION

  • PET LITTER (if appropriate)
  • LITTER TRAY Aluminum roasting pans are PURRFECT!
  • NEWSPAPERS
  • PAPER TOWELS
  • PLASTIC TRASH BAGS (2 week supply)
  • SOAP
  • ANTI-BACTERIAL SOAP
  • POOP BAGS - or you can reuse plastic grocery bags
  • CHLORINE BLEACH - to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 8 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water, stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before use. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches or those with added cleaners. KEEP AWAY FROM FOOD!

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FOOD & WATER

FOOD: Keep at least seven (7) days of food in an airtight, waterproof container. WHY 7 DAYS? You don’t know when you will be able to return.

Stores will run out of essential supplies very fast as people will “raid” local shops. Given the nature of the event access to stores may be limited. Stores may be destroyed. It will take some time to get additional supply routes open and functional. Your priorities may not allow for shopping time.

CONSIDER:

CAN FOOD
  • Is heavier to transport than dry kibble.
  • Contains water and therefore MAY reduce your pet’s thirst.
  • Lasts longer than kibble (shelf life)
  • Canned container is stronger than plastic/paper dry kibble container.
     
DEHYDRATED RAW
  • Dehydrated raw food requires clean water to be added.
  • Very light transportation
  • Fairly long shelf life
  • Make sure to keep in water tight and airtight container and away from moisture.
DRY KIBBLE
  • May increase your pet’s thirst.
  • Make sure to keep in water tight and airtight container.
RAW FOOD
  • Raw food requires refrigeration.
  • Emergency logistical nightmare
  • Healthiest option (if that is regular diet)
  • Very long shelf (freezer) Life if remains frozen!
  • Increased risk of bacterial growth (goes bad if not refrigerated)
  • Easy Backup plan: Freeze Dried Raw Diets – will require more water.

WARNING: A sudden change in diet can disrupt your pet’s digestive system and increases likelihood of diarrhea and stomach upsets. This in turn increases its chances of dehydration. Disrupt your pet’s feeding habits the least amount possible. Make sure your pet gets accustomed to whatever backup/emergency food you are planning to include in your kit.

WATER
Store at least seven (7) days of water specifically for your pets, in addition to water you need for yourself and your family. Bottled Water can be used for drinking, cleaning, cooking, Medical (treating heat related injuries, hydration, etc), cooling down engine, sanitation, etc. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOUR NEED FOR CLEAN WATER!

A conservative estimate would recommend preparing for 2 quarts per day per pet! Clearly that amount depends on pet size and regular water consumption.

REMEMBER: If it’s not safe for YOU to drink/consume something, it isn’t for your pet either!

DO NOT LET YOU PET DRINK FLOOD WATER (leads to intestinal contamination, possible poisoning, increases diarrhea which will lead to increased dehydration).

During stressful events some pets tend to drink more than usual. Not all. But make sure you have enough fresh water. Flood waters are filled with toxic pollutants. No living creature should consume it!
REMEMBER: If you lose power you still have running water access (= toilet). When you lose water access you lose toilet water tank. The toilet will work but you will need to gain access to other sources of water to make it work. That can prove challenging in shelter in place scenarios. That’s why you need extra water!

  • FOOD DISHES
  • WATER DISHES
  • SPOON
  • CAN OPENER
  • TREATS
  • WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS (make sure you read instructions BEFORE you need to use it)

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COMFORT ITEMS

  • FAVORITE TOYS (Things they can play & keep busy with)
  • CHEW TOYS
  • BEDDING/BLANKET (for scooping up a fearful pet and insulation),
  • T-SHIRT that smells like you (in Ziploc type bag),
  • GROOMING BRUSH Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

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ADDITIONAL ITEMS

  • FLASHLIGHT + BATTERIES FLASHLIGHT, BATTERIES AND PLUGS - When walking pets, if you must remain in a fairly devastated area you will need to see where you are going and pick up poop! Include various types of batteries: AA, AAA, 9V and/or C or D Types batteries and car chargers for your phones, GPS, etc.
  • WIRE, PLIERS & DUCT TAPE (to repair pet carrier etc.)
  • MULTI TOOL KNIFE
  • CAN OPENER (manual)
  • WHISTLE (for recall, emergency alert if you become stranded, let others know where you are)
  • MAPS OF LOCAL AREA AND ALTERNATE EVACUATION ROUTES (in case of road closures)
  • RADIO (Solar and Battery Operated)
  • CAT/WILDLIFE GLOVES May be used by cat owners and to approach other wildlife. Remember that wildlife is also affected by disasters, and may become transient. As a result you may be in contact with displaced animals (some of which might not be that cooperative)
  • PAPER/ NOTEBOOK To keep medical, phone, direction, feeding records
  • PENCIL (better than pen. More water resistant)
  • TOWELS - To keep your pet warm, dry and clean. Can be used to restrain, catch or treat head related emergencies (refer to your pet first aid manual).

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REFERENCES

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