Honda Element Owners Club banner

Emergency Evacuation: Preparedness for Pet(s) Sake

1297 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  barkdogs
Preparedness for Pet(s) Sake

Barkdogs mentioned in the West Kelowna Fire thread that U.S. cities are required now to have an evacuation plan for pets. That's good to know as we've seen in the past few years (Hurricane Katrina, Florida hurricanes) that many people will stay behind with their pets if shelters won't take them (do Red Cross shelters take dogs now?). Most of us here are probably of the same ilk -- our pets are family and we're not going to just ditch them.

On a moment's notice (California firestorms come to mind), are you ready to evacuate with your pets?

What should we have ready to grab-and-go?

Since 9/11, I've been zealous about keeping my Element's gas tank above 3/4 (I commute by bike and foot so that's not too hard). More recently, I've been buying a new bag of dog food (30lbs) when the old one hits the half-way mark. Gidget's food (Wellness Fish & Potato) is not carried by box stores like Pet Smart, let alone grocery stores. You don't want to run out of your dog's usual food in a crisis and have to suddenly shift them to a different food -- that could cause health issues just when you can't get to their normal vet, either.

These are the pet (and people) survival essentials I can think of off the top of my head:




Seems to me you at least need handy:

Health Record -- multiple copies from your vet showing that your pets vaccinations are up-to-date. I don't know what emergency pet-friendly shelters' requirements would be on this but this document could be critical and it's easy to have around (I have a copy of Gidget's in my Element because campgrounds can require proof-of-rabies vaccination though none have ever actually asked for it).

Water -- if our water were out or tainted (we had a system-wide cryptosporidium scare in the 90s) then I'm not prepared on this most critical point. I do have sturdy [empty] water containers around (notably a Coleman 3-gallon dispenser) and collapsible water containers for camping. I don't know how much water Gidget consumes on an average day, let alone a hot summer day. I top-off her water bowls during the day and carry a bottle on all our walks but have never measured consumption (you should have some sense of that since changes in water consumption can be a symptom of a medical condition).

Food -- since I'm being mindful now of not letting her dog food bag run down to empty before buying another, I'm better prepared on this point. And I know how much she consumes each day (a bit less than 2 cups, total). But I have not calculated exactly how long a 30-lb bag should last her at that rate of consumption. So I'll get on that today.

First-Aid -- what meds/gear might our pets need that we should have ready to go? Gidget's camping box (an 8-gallon Rubbermaid Action-Packer that also holds her camp food) includes shampoo, comb, grooming scissors, Pepcid AC (she has a history of acid reflux), a cortisone topical (and a couple
previously prescribed topicals for skin issues), Benadryl (my vet says the dog formula is 1 miligram per pound), booties. What other First Aid items should we have for our pets that may not be in the people First Aid kits that should be in our cars at all times?

This could be an interesting and someday-useful discussion for us EOC pet-peops.


See less See more
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
The Drs. Foster and Smith website includes pet preparedness information that's worth reviewing:

Some excerpts (there's more on cats, birds - search "preparedness" on their website):

Talk to your veterinarian. Set up an appointment to talk to your veterinarian about planning for your animals during disasters.

Assemble an animal evacuation kit and first aid kit.

Check all pet carriers or transport cages to make sure they are in good condition, have no sharp edges, and have the following information indelibly printed on them: Your name; phone number; address; a description of your pet (distinguishing marks, age, sex, spayed, neutered, etc.); the name of your pet; 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.

Have identification tags (and license and rabies tags, if appropriate) for your animals. Identification should provide your name, home address, a phone number where you can be reached, and an out-of-area phone number of someone with whom you will be in contact during or soon after the disaster/evacuation. If possible, include your veterinarian's name, location, and phone number. Some of this information could be printed in indelible ink onto tape and attached to the back of the tag.

Assemble veterinary records. Make photocopies of important veterinary documents to store in your animal's evacuation kit including vaccination records, medical history, important test results (FeLV, FIV, heartworm, Coggins, TB, other infectious diseases), medical conditions, and medications.

Assemble proof of ownership information. Make copies of registration information, adoption papers, proofs of purchase, and microchip/tattoo or other identification information to store in the evacuation kit. List each of your animals and their species/breed, age, sex, color, and other distinguishing characteristics. Keep current photographs of your animals in the evacuation kit for identification purposes. Include yourself in some of the photos to help you reclaim your lost animals.

Make a list of motels in your area that will accept pets. Find out if motels with "no pet" policies will waive them in an emergency. Keep this in your animal evacuation kit.

Check with relatives and friends not in your immediate area to determine if they will take your pets in the event of an emergency.

Make a list of boarding facilities, veterinary clinics, animals shelters, or other establishments that would accept pets in an emergency.

Prearrange an evacuation site(s) and emergency shelter arrangements for your family and your animals. Remember that
Red Cross shelters do not allow animals.

Keep a list of phone numbers (including cell phone numbers) of friends or neighbors you may want to contact in the event of an emergency.

Identify alternate sources of food and water.

Keep all vehicles full of gas.

Keep emergency cash on hand.

I'm not as ready as I thought. Have much to do.

See less See more
Drs. Foster and Smith is a goldmine of information. Here are various links (they include "printable version" and e-mail buttons):

Cat First-Aid (guide to making a kit):

Cat Evac Kit (guide to assembling one)

Bird First Aid (guide to assembling a kit + First Aid instructions)

See less See more
Thanks HC for bringing this to attention.
I live in an area prone to evacuations and always keep my pet stuff right next to the teardrop:)

Best Auto Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
Most people plan to evacuate with their pets but forget that sometimes the evacuation goes into effect and you cannot get back in.

Local authorities or a disaster group such as Noahs Wish or EARS will go in to get your pets. Either have the information listed in the other posts attached to the pet crates AND/OR (probably AND) I recommend putting the information into an envelope and taping it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. Sometimes the disaster people don't have time to get your crates, they just find the animals and put them in evac sacks (cats) or a rescue truck. It's easy to grab the envelope from the cabinet door.

In the envelope, you should also have a picture of you and your pet. If you lose your ID in the disaster, we can easily match you up.

If you city or local animal shelter does NOT have an animal evacation plan, have them contact for help.


See less See more
best thread I've seen on here in a while Hiker Chick!! Bravo!!

Pat & Rae
best thread I've seen on here in a while Hiker Chick!! Bravo!!

Pat & Rae
I 2nd that. Very good thread.

Noahs Wish is currently on their third deployment to the fires in BC.

I can't get the link to upload, but you can copy and paste for this story in the local paper.
Great that others appreciate this info, thanks. It's one thing to not be prepared for our own sake, but our pups are counting on us.

And to my dismay, I've been completely negligent on storing any of the most basic item of all: water. (except for what's always in the hot water tanks -- be mindful that hot water heater tanks are a fallback source in a crunch - at least for bathing, I'm not keen on drinking it).

So I've ordered two of these containers so we can at least be okay for a week (plus I usually have a gallon or more of iced tea in the fridge). I have a couple for camping in my teardrop trailer, but that's in storage in the mountains a hundred miles from here. These are very, very sturdy and come with a handy spout.

I can hardly carry 7 gallons of water. One gallon of water = 8 pounds

Will get in the habit of changing out the water every week. Between these two containers and one I already had, we'll have about 20 gallons of water for the Gidg and me.

Think I'll fill her water bowls out of one of these containers for a week to gauge how much I need to store for her to get through a couple weeks.

And I've now got 90 of these water purification tablets (3 packages) on hand in the event the water supply becomes tainted (not without precedent in municipal water systems, including DC which had a cryptosporidium scare in the 1990s).

Reliance Aqua-Tainer - 7 Gallon - $16.00

Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets - Package of 30

Item # 695229
Purifying water couldn't be easier, simply drop a Katadyn Micropur tablet into a quart of water to drink with confidence and no chemical aftertaste.

  • Features the same proven technology used in municipal water supplies, Micropur tablets are effective against viruses, bacteria, Giardia and Cryptosporidium
  • Destroys viruses and bacteria in 15 min., Giardia in 30 min. and Cryptosporidium in 4 hrs.
  • Use 1 tablet per quart of water
  • Meets the US Environmental Protection Agency purification guidelines; active ingredient is chlorine dioxide
  • Each tablet is individually wrapped and sealed
  • While a 4 hr. wait time may be inconvenient, alternative disinfectants do not claim to destroy Cryptosporidium
See less See more
Noahs Wish is currently on their third deployment to the fires in BC.

I can't get the link to upload, but you can copy and paste for this story in the local paper.

The link worked for me, thanks. Great article. Noah's Wish became my favorite charity because of their terrific work during Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. :)

Fran Cameron was 300 kilometres away in Delta when the evacuation alert sounded for Lillooet.

Like most residents of the fire-ravaged town, she packed up her belongings.

But unlike the people fleeing the wildfire, she headed straight into the danger zone to rescue some of the town's most vulnerable residents — those of the furry, four-legged, winged and scaly varieties.

"If you get the evacuation order, you only get 30 minutes to an hour," said the veteran volunteer for Noah's Wish, a California-based animal emergency-response organization that takes in pets during natural disasters or emergencies.

..."Some people won't leave their homes without their pets," she said. "So indirectly, we're saving people's lives while directly helping the animals."


See less See more
This is a really great thread!

We had to evacuate last winter when we were hit with an ice storm that caused power outages for nearly a week. With 7 dogs and 4 cats, we could not be here without water (we have a well). We had to pack everyone up and we spent the time with my sister-in-law 3 hours away. At the time we had a Ford Ranger with a cap and we fit in all the crates, ex pens, food, cloths, etc.

I am pretty sure we will have room in the E if we had to do it again, but now we have a generator. :-D
Yikes - a winter week in Albany without power. :-o

I had just started compiling camping gear in the 90s when we had a weeklong series of ice storms and rolling blackouts because the grid was overloaded. My place then was all-electric.

That camp gear all paid for itself that week. Especially the sleeping bags and rechargeable lantern!

After a Noahs Wish deployment, I try do a write-up for my friends and family - haven't turned them into a blog yet. If anyone is interested, I have stories with pictures from the San Diego Fires, Hurricane Gustav, and the Northern California Fires.

There is nothing like taking care of these animals and then reuniting people with their animals.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.