Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.
As you prepare your family’s emergency supply kit, consider as well the needs of your pets. Preparing a supply kit for pets makes sense.
Whether you remain at home during a disaster, head to a pet-friendly evacuation shelter or a friend’s home, everyone — pets included — will
have what they need.
A pet kit should include:
• At least three days of food and water. Include bowls for feeding your pet(s). If you’re including canned food, include a
manual can opener in the kit.
• Pet medicines and medical records.
• A first aid kit — or, add extra supplies to your family’s kit so you have sufficient first aid should your pet also need assistance.
• Collar with ID tag, harness or leash.
• Crate or other pet carrier.
• Pet litter, litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic bags, household chlorine bleach.
• A photo of you and your pet together for identification if you’re separated.
• Favorite pet toys, bedding, treats — to help reduce stress for your pet.
By thinking ahead, your pets will be safe and comfortable when a disaster happens!
Download a Disaster Supply Checklist for Pets
Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, you must determine whether you will remain at home or evacuate.
Understand and plan for the possibility of both. Listen and adhere to Civil Defense, Police or Fire Department warnings and instructions.
Create a plan to evacuate and consider:
• How will you assemble your pets?
•Where will you go? Know in advance which public evacuation shelters are pet-friendly or family or friends that may be able to shelter you and your pets.
• Develop a buddy system. Plan ahead withneighbors, friends or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
• Review with your buddy your pet care and theirs (share evacuation plans, show where your pet emergency supply kit is located).
• Determine specific locations (one nearby, another further away) where you will meet in an emergency.
• Microchip your pet(s) — it provides the best hope of being reunited if you are separated.
• If your pet is already microchipped, be certain information is up-to-date in the recovery database.
• Have a list of Hawaii Island Humane Society shelter phone numbers, have your veterinarian’s contact information and phone numbers for veterinarians around the island. Keep a list with you and in the emergency supply kit.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an emergency supply kit for yourself, your family and your pets, is the same regardless of the type of emergency. However, it is important to stay informed since different emergencies may have different government agency responses and instructions. For Hawaii Island, the types of emergencies we should be prepared for include, but are not limited to:
With a few simple preparations, you can be prepared for the unexpected. Preparedness for you, your family, and your pets means you are likely to encounter less difficulty, stress and worry during an emergency.
For a list of pet friendly shelters click here. Please remember even if a shelter is listed, it does not mean it will be open. Contact County Civil Defense or the Hawaii Island Humane Society on which shelters will be open.
The single most important thing you can do to protect your pets if you evacuate is to take them with you. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets. Animals left inside your home can escape through storm-damaged areas, such as broken windows. Animals turned loose to fend for themselves are likely to become victims of exposure, starvation, predators, contaminated food or water, or accidents. Leaving dogs tied or chained outside in a
disaster is a death sentence.
If you leave, even if you think you may be gone only for a few hours, take your animals. Once you leave your home, you have no way of knowing how long you’ll be kept out of the area and you may not be able to come back for your pets.
Leave early — don’t wait for a mandatory evacuation order. An unnecessary trip is far better than waiting too long to leave safely with your pets.
In the event of an actual disaster, listen to your radio or local news stations for Local, State and County Civil Defense http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/civil-defense
County Civil Defense 935-0031 or 935-3311 (after hours)