Like a good Californian, Toki recently put together a disaster preparedness kit. It mainly consisted of me purchasing the dog survival pack from Pet-Pac.com, a local company that assembles and ships pet survival packs around the country. Because the Pet-Pac kit was completely stocked with everything that Toki might need in an emergency, I just added some of her favorite canned dog food, and a favorite toy. : )
The Pet-Pac survival pack came in an extremely attractive, heavy-duty red duffel. Probably because I have a soft spot for official-looking packages of all kinds, I decided that I wanted to get the complete disaster kit from Pet-Pac instead of making my own. Plus, the nice folks at Pet-Pac did all the work! In the picture below, Toki provides a sense of scale. You can see that the bag is fairly substantial, with plenty of room for customization and additions to the kit. (The kits are available in three sizes, according to the weight of your dog.)
Whether you purchase a ready-made kit, or assemble your own (which could actually be kind of fun), it’s a smart idea to implement some form of disaster-preparedness measures for you and your pet. 72hours.org is an extremely thorough website detailing all aspects of disaster preparedness. The site is part of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, so you know they have their act together. The website stresses that it might be at least 3 days–or 72 hours–before vital services are restored in the event of a natural or manmade emergency. You want to make sure that you can provide for you and your pet during that time.
For tips on putting together an animal disaster preparedness kit, check out the packing list (link available here) provided by the Surf City Animal Response Team. Go to 72hours.org to find information on general preparation, including suggestions on home safety and the contents of your human “go-bag”.
Some of the pet-related tips included in these materials:
- Practice crate training with your dog or cat – this will prove to be invaluable in the event of an emergency.
- Don’t forget to rotate food and water in your emergency pack to ensure freshness.
- Keep an extra leash and collar handy in the car, as well as in your emergency pack.
- Remember these tips for ensuring that your pet has a proper ID!
- Keep a window decal or other sign outside your house to identify the presence of pets inside.
- Keep photos as well as vet records in your emergency kit – even better, in addition to packing a copy of the records in your go-bag, follow the excellent advice from According To Gus’s blog on keeping an online diary of your pet’s medical history. If you lose the hard copy of your records, you’ll still be able to access them wherever you can get to the internet.
- Finally, don’t forget to include some toys and chews in your emergency kit. This will help your pet feel more relaxed if you’re stranded in a strange or stressful locale.
Here are the contents of Toki’s emergency pack.