Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

How to Prepare for a Disaster: Pet Preparedness & Tips

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Emergency Help | 2 comments

With the latest hurricane on the way, it’s time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? After Katrina and Harvey, everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation.

June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and in the fall, September is Disaster Preparation Month. Hurricane Florence drives home the importance of having a disaster plan not only for yourself when Mother Nature throws a tantrum, but also to keep your pets safe. Whether you must deal with tornadoes, floods, landslides, typhoons, wildfires or other emergencies, there’s a rule that we must always PLAN FOR THE WORST.

And then pray it doesn’t happen.

Fire fighter saving cat

ref=”https://amyshojai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Depositphotos_18364567_l.jpg”> Bucharest, Romania – October 2, 2012: A fire fighter holds a cat, after saving it from a burning block of flats in Bucharest. — Photo Copr bizoon/DepositPhotos.com[/ca

Disaster Preparation: Are You Disaster Ready?

A Pet360.com survey revealed 13% of pet owners had been through a disaster or evacuation with pets, and of those, 12% had been separated from their fur-kids. I don’t know about you, but I’d go CRAZY if I was separated from Shadow-Pup or Karma-Kat at such a time! Other findings:

  • 46% do not have an emergency plan in place for their pets.
  • Of those who do have a plan, only 40% practice it with their pets.
  • Less than 35% have an emergency kit for their pets.
  • 63% do not have Pet Alert stickers in their windows.

disaster preparation

TOP TIPS FOR PET DISASTER PREPARATION PLANS

Watch news and weather reports. When weather turns ify, bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them. Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and up-to-date identification. If you have nothing else handy, use a felt-tip marker and write your phone number and name on the pet’s tummy.

Designate a “safe room” in the house to confine pets until the all clear. Many homes in North Texas don’t have basements or storm cellars. An internal room without windows, often a bathroom without windows, can be a good option. At my house, the cat gets stuffed into cat carriers and placed inside the pantry situated under the stairs. It’s big enough that the humans and Bravo can fit inside, too.

Teach pets NOW to go to their “safe room” by practicing and rewarding with tasty treats, favorite games or anything that really floats their boat. Cats often hide during strange weather so make sure you have a way to find them.

DISASTER PREPARATION PLANS FOR EVACUATION!

If you must evacuate, take your pets along. It may be days before authorities allow you to return home.

Red Cross shelters currently prohibit pets, except for certified service animals. In the wake of the Katrina deluge, efforts are underway to make some changes that accommodate furry family members. Until/unless those changes come about, if you’ve got to evacuate, find a hotel, friend, or other accommodations in advance that will let you bring your dogs and cats. Hotels that ordinarily prohibit pets may make exceptions during times of emergency evacuations so always ask.

disaster preparation

SAKON NAKHON, THAILAND – JULY 29, 2017 : Young man moving dogs with boat from flood water.

6 Tips for Pet Disaster Preparation

  • Attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, if you know it, to the pet’s collar tags. You can buy temporary tags or put adhesive tape on the back of your pet’s ID tag, adding information with an indelible pen. Write directly on a flat nylon collar or halter to make it easy for a stranger to read the information.
  • Have a pet evacuation emergency kit handy that contains pet food, medications, cat litter, vaccination/health certificates and veterinary contact information. You may need proof of vaccination to be admitted to shelters. Be sure your kit contains a three-day supply of all the pet essentials. If easily packed, take an extra towel or blanket for each pet. Don’t forget sturdy leashes, harnesses, carriers or X-pens for safe confinement.
  • Most facilities will require your cats and dogs to be under your control, and may also require proof of current vaccination. Include a favorite comfort toy or treat, the pet’s food and can opener if needed, and don’t forget water—one quart per cat-size pet per day (more for big dogs) is a good rule of paw. One of the pheromone spray products such as Comfort Zone/DAP for dogs or Feliway for cats can help relieve the stress of being in a strange environment.
  • Have plenty of plastic bags and newspapers as well as containers and cleaning supplies tfirst-aido help deal with pet waste. Puppy training pads or Depends undergarments work well.
  • Prepare for the unthinkable, too. Include current photos of your pets in case they get lost, and bring a first-aid kit to care for possible injuries. Include disposable latex gloves, sterile dressings, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, eyewash, thermometer, and any prescription medications your pets need. You can find more specifics in “The First-Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats.”
  • Your evacuation kit should also include a cell phone, flashlight, extra batteries, battery powered radio, map of area, whistle/air horn to signal for help, and matches in a waterproof container. Keep a list of emergency numbers with your phone, including a pet emergency clinic number and shelters that may temporarily house animals. Keep your car tank filled with at least half a tank at all times.

DISASTER PREPARATION ORGANIZATIONS FOR PETS

Be ready for Mother Nature’s “what if” surprises now and prepare for the worst. I pray you’ll never need this information.

Have you ever gone through a disaster or evacuation with your pets? What do you wish you’d known or would do differently? Please share!

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

2 Comments

  1. Judi

    Thx for the write up Amy. We stayed here in Leland NC (next to Wilmington) during Hurricane Matthew CAT 1 and even those winds and trying to let our Ch Airedale (15 yrs old) out to potty was very difficult and that was right next to house and outside the door. Then Hurricane Florence hit us in 2018. Guinness had passed by then and the Eye was right one us. 30″ of rain.We left to family nr Atlanta but a neighbor stayed – with 9 people and 9 pets and no power. I know the neighbors right by me had cared for their pets but I’m sure many in Wilmington did not. Hopefully your article will bring to mind the necessity of planning. AND thank you to all those people who can volunteer to rescue and care for disaster affected animals – large and small. I wish I were younger and better health to help so can only do so financially. Everyone please take heed.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Yes, planning makes all the difference! Thanks for your reminder, Judi.

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Katrina Revisited: Hurricane Harvey Disaster PreparationAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] of the storm. Please tell me you’re disaster ready, both you and your pets! Read more about disaster preparation…
  2. What to Do for Fire Hazards & Pet Smoke InhalationAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] wrote about disaster preparation on the blog back in August to address hurricane issues, but now another disaster with…

Leave a Reply

Categories:

Recent Posts

Spoil Your Dog Every Day: 8 Ways How to Show Dogs You Love Them

August 10 is National Spoil Your Dog Day. So how do you spoil your canine companion? Or do you pamper your pet too much?

Our dogs give us unconditional love, and never care that we have a bad hair day, forget to change our socks or brush our teeth—actually, they might like that! They greet us at the door like heroes bearing treasures and always offer a happy wag and eager smooch. Whether dogs snuggle to share our joy or pester us out of a blue mood with a game of fetch, they love us 24/7/365.

That’s one of the many reasons dog lovers consider them part of the family. It’s only natural for us to return the affection by spoiling dogs. Dog lovers don’t need a Spoil Your Dog holiday, either–we love them every day of the year. Here are some ways to return the furry favor for your dog.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling dogs with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the puppy love!

Do Cats Suffer Separation Anxiety? Signs & Tips to Relieve the Angst

Yes, cat separation anxiety affects many felines. When school restarts, and the kids go back to class, your cats (and your dogs) may suffer from separation anxiety. The signs of distress are very different, though. I encourage you to read on to learn about tips for helping your furry family members adjust.

More recently, with more folks working from home, the cats have finally settled into a new routine. But just about the time Kitty gets used to your new schedule, the world changes again if you go back to the office. That may make them more prone to developing separation behaviors when you go back to work or kids return to school and leave them alone.

We very often hear about doggy angst during a beloved human’s absence, but what about cats? Yep, it’s exactly the same—only different. Here’s how.

How to Love Your Cat for World Cat Day

August 8 is WORLD CAT DAY (aka International Cat Day) and it’s the purr-fect time to celebrate our cat love. Maybe you wonder “why does my cat … ” do all sorts of things, or “how do I make my cat love me?” Here are my top 6 ideas how to love your cat every day of the year, so your cat loves you back–not just on World Cat Day.

Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With cats, it’s Valentine’s Day every day and a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.

It’s fun to celebrate World Cat Day with special treats and bonus snuggles. It’s even more important to show cat love every day of the year, and your cat won’t care if it costs fifty million dollars or fifty cents. In fact, fifty minutes spent with Kitty probably makes him think he won the cat lottery!

TOP 7 WAYS HOW TO LOVE YOUR CAT

Give Comfort. Cat comfort is an important issue for you cat love. Every cat is an individual, so while one cat wants to swing from the drapes and meet new people, strangers could be a horror movie for other cats. A lot of that has to do with your cat’s socialization and parentage. Cat love means we accept each cat as an individual and adjust expectations to each special cat. Here are six ways you can share cat love and increase your cat’s purrs…

Don’t Go! Canine Separation Anxiety & What to Do

During the pandemic, many of us adopted new furry friends. As many folks moved their work world to home, the dogs celebrated! For dogs, that’s winning the lottery, to have their humans with them 24/7. And for puppies adopted over the past couple of years, they’ve had their humans with them 24/7. But now since the country has “re-opened” and many return to work outside the home, will canine separation anxiety become a problem for your dog? What about when things return to “normal” — how will they cope?

Each fall when school classes resume, I write about dog separation anxiety, and that dogs left alone may act out. After summer vacation with the kiddos, dogs left behind at home can mope and feel awful…and so can cats. Any kind of absence can potentially result in canine separation anxiety. Not all problems are due to anxiety–although the behaviors may seem similar. Here’s what you need to know.

Cat Writers’ Association Writer Contest Awards! Mee-Wow!

Way back in 1992, I helped found the Cat Writers' Association. Each year, the CWA hosts a contest for published work, and honors the best cat-centric material with a Certificate of Excellence in dozens of cat-egories. The top Certificate entry received the prestigious...

Furry Fountain of Youth & Dog Senility: Reversing Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

I’ve been blessed to share my life with two senior dogs, but only Magical-Dawg showed signs of dog senility, also known as canine cognitive dysfunction. Yes, both dogs and cats can suffer from a form of dementia, that some might described as a type of canine Alzheimer’s disease. Dogs aged 11 to 16 are most likely to develop Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), sort of the doggy version of Alzheimer’s Disease. CCD is a medical condition in which a starch-like waxy protein called beta amyloid collects in the brain and causes behavior changes. Here’s what you need to know and ways to slow down potential dog senility.

Signs of Dog Senility

Dogs cared for throughout their early years live longer than ever before. It’s not unusual for Toy-breed dogs to live into their mid-to-late teens and even big dogs today enjoy a decade or more of happy life with a loving owner. A longer life, though, can leave your dog befuddled when canine brains turn to mush.

Affected dogs become disoriented, wander, cry and pace, and can become lost in the house when out of your sight. Their behavior can change from confident to frightened, and the awake/sleep cycles may turn upside down. Dogs can forget house training, how to find the door or be unable to tell you when they need to “go.” And most heartbreaking of all, senile dogs lose interest in petting, ignore their beloved owners or furry friends, and might not recognize you.

A longer life is not necessarily a better life, especially if your dog no longer recognizes you. But there are ways to help your dog stay connected with the world and ward off signs of CCD…

Pet Dehydration? Causes, Symptoms & First Aid for Dog Dehydration and Cat Dehydration

Cat and dog dehydration refers to the excessive loss of body water. Pets are prone to dehydration when the weather gets very hot, and they don’t have access to enough water. As a result, they can develop heatstroke. More often, though, dog and cat dehydration happens from vomiting and diarrhea.

Here in Texas, we’ve had weeks of triple-digit temperatures. I worry about the outside pets, but even indoor cats and dogs can suffer from dehydration. Normal water loss occurs in the pet’s bathroom deposits, through moisture exhaled with the breath, and through sweat. These fluids get replaced when the cat and dog eat and drink.

Causes of Cat & Dog Dehydration

Any illness may prompt pets to stop eating and drinking, and prolonged fever increases the loss of body fluid. Specific disease conditions or injuries like diabetes or kidney disease may cause excessive urination that also causes of dehydration.

Cats evolved as desert creatures and have an amazing ability to conserve water, but cat dehydration can still kill. Even though cats seem to prefer to drink water in the weirdest places (the sink? your glass? the TOILET?!) they most often just don’t drink enough water. It’s important to know the signs of cat dehydration and provide ample drinking ops to keep kitty healthy and happy.

A normal adult pet’s total body water is approximately 60 percent of his body weight. That means your 12-pound pet carries over 7 pounds of liquid! Signs of dehydration become apparent when he loses as little as five percent of normal body water. A 12 to 15 percent loss of total body water results in shock and imminent death. Here are the signs of pet dehydration, and how to treat it with first aid.

Guest Blog: The little tart centerpiece in my kitchen

I’m heading back home to visit my 95-year-old dad this weekend, and reconnect with friends at my high school reunion. Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat will stay at the “pet resort” while I’m gone. My husband has scheduled folks to come in and replace the carpet with hardwood–what a process! Moving furniture around ain’t fun…and we waited until the last minute to (temporarily) relocated the dog bed and cat trees. As you know, our pets (especially cats) love the status quo. Urk!

Back in May, my CWA member colleague, Tracy Ahrens shared a guest blog with me about her special dog. Today, she shares musings about a special cat. My Karma also sleeps in a variety of endearing, awkward, and unique poses, so I smiled with recognition reading about her cat Forest. What is it about cat sleep habits that delights us so? I know that Karma has his favorite sleep spots–in the dog bed on the dining room table, top of his cat trees, and my pillow at night. So once the floors get done, we’ll make sure to satisfy and catify his kitty spots. Like Forest (below), Karma decides what he likes and wants.

This entertaining piece first appeared on the WagTheDogUK blog. It has won a CWA Certificate of Excellence Award in the 2021 contest.

Deck The Bed With…Colorful Quilts

Visitors to my kitchen are greeted by a small litter box close to the stove, snug against a cupboard and partially seated on an area rug.

I first lined the box with a spare bath towel and Forest purred while resting in it. Soon after, I topped that towel with a mini flannel quilt made by my mom. The quilt extends up the sides of the box and I carefully gather it around the edges so it stays in place when Forest crawls on top.

I have pondered the overall image of Forest in the litter box. He looks like the sweet filling in a little tart-like bed with a flannel quilt crust…

The DOs and DONTs of Camping with Your Dog or Cat

Summer arrived even earlier than expected this year, with temperatures hitting triple digits by mid-June. There’s still plenty of pet camping season left. Even though camping with pets isn’t for me, I know lots of folks who LOVE it, including my brother and his dog. He takes the dog with them camping, boating, skiing, and pretty much everywhere.

Bringing your furry one along camping (or glamping) is a great bonding experience. But before you pack up and hit the road, look over my DOs and DONTs of camping with your dog or cat.

What to do when camping with a pet

First, decide if your pet will enjoy camping. Not all will enjoy it. My Karma-Kat would HATE camping. He’s a homebody, and enjoys watching birds, bunnies, and squirrels through the window, but freezes when his paws hit the grass. Shadow-Pup’s more adventurous and probably would do better…

What to Do for Fire Hazards & Pet Smoke Inhalation

It’s National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15, and here in Texas with heat rolling over the land, flash fires threaten all summer long. I wrote about disaster preparation on the blog recently, and fire hazards and smoke inhalation issues are another issue affecting pets. All across the country, too many folks have already lost homes, property, and even the lives of human and animal loved ones. A few years ago, some of my Facebook friends asked me to post about smoke inhalation information, and I wanted to expand on that. Knowing what to do should your cat or dog suffer fire-related injury could save their lives.

Most cases of smoke inhalation involve situations where the pet cannot escape. Dogs and especially cats tend to hide when frightened, and may not make an effort to get out of a burning building until too late. But the recent wind-fanned flames of grass fires move quickly, produce a lot of smoke, and can catch outdoor pets unprepared…

Visit Amy’s Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This