The problem with emergencies is that we’re almost never prepared for them. They usually incite moments of panic, chaos and everything but rational thinking. Even in a state of crisis, while we’re seeking safety, very rarely do we know what we will do in just a moment’s notice, yet alone after the emergency has passed. Let’s review some quick tips on how to prepare bug-out bags for a special part of your family… your pets.
How many times after major hurricanes or tornadoes do you see images on the news of people stranded on top of their cars just waiting for a rescue squad? Whether it’s a natural disaster, the collapse of government or the end of the world, preparation is always key…
According to FEMA, the kit should be put together well before the emergency. After all, at a moment’s notice, you may have to evacuate your home and you won’t have the time to think about what you need to take with you – especially in a case where you’re running for your life.
Here are the top 10 must-haves to put in your cat or dog’s bug-out bag:
Must-Have No. 1: A Current Color Photograph. In the event you and your pet are split up, it’s important to have a way for you to describe it to people who might have seen it.
Must-Have No. 2: Food/Water. Pack a 72-hour supply for each pet. In a crisis, there’s no telling where the next meal may come from.
Must-Have No. 3: Sandwich Bags. Instead of poop-scoop baggies, normal sandwich bags work just as well. Not to mention, they can come in handy for other things.
Must-Have No. 4: Pet First-Aid Kit. It’s a given that anything can happen in an emergency. A typical first-aid kit would include invisible spray bandage, scissors, tweezers, medical/adhesive tape, several gauze pads, vet wrap, glow light sticks and alcohol wipes.
Must-Have No. 5: Special Medicines. If your pet has any allergies or special medicine that he takes, be sure to pack this. What’s worse than your dog or cat being stranded with you somewhere and suddenly having an allergy attack? Don’t forget to include the instructions, too.
Must-Have No. 6: One Small Blanket/Towel. Depending on the conditions that you face, your pet is going to need something to keep him warm.
Must-Have No. 7: Collar/Leash With ID. Again for identification reasons, it’s important to provide your pet with clear identification in the event that you two are separated from each other at some point.
Must-Have No. 8: A Pair of Women’s Stockings. These can be used as an ace elastic bandage, a filter to drain dirty water and a muzzle for a hurt animal.
Must-Have No. 9: Pet Carrier/Crate. If you’re able to evacuate your home via driving, a pet crate can come in handy. Again, remember to keep ID (both yours and your pet’s) on the crate as well.
Must-Have No. 10: Bowls With Lids. It’s good to have containers that your pet can eat out of… something that can also be sealed and packed up should you need to change locations.
Bonus Must-Haves: Some other extra essentials include a compass, a small flashlight, extra batteries, 12-hour emergency glow sticks, long-term hand warmers and a reflective dog/cat vest.
No one can ever be 100 percent prepared for a crisis. But 0 percent preparation will leave you susceptible to failure. This guide will help you get on the right track. In fact, preparing a bug-out bag for your cat or dog can be the difference between saving them or never seeing them again.
Remember, preparation is key. Your pet is worth it.