Be Prepared For Any Emergency

Be Prepared For Any Emergency

Are you ready in case of an emergency? Do you have items ready and prepared for your animals in case of an evacuation? I’m sure you are with me… too many animals, too much to think about so it goes on the back burner. This year, I’m going to make it a priority. Are you going to join me and be prepped?

Are you ready in case of an emergency? Do you have items ready and prepared for your animals in case of an evacuation? I’m sure you are with me… too many animals, too much to think about so it goes on the back burner. This year, I’m going to make it a priority. Are you going to join me and be prepped?

Think Ahead

As most of you are probably thinking, “not another prepper” blog. There are several circumstances that may be reasons we need to be prepared. Survival preparation for the "End of the World" is a different kind of emergency preparedness rather than planning for some unexpected event. Thankfully in Michigan, we haven’t had large weather disasters such as hurricanes, landslides, wildfires and the like that happen in other areas of the country.

However, I have spoken to many who have been in these situations and often are caught off-guard. At one point or another, I think we have all experienced the empty grocery store shelves when a large snowstorm is heading towards Michigan. All of the basics have been bought - milk, bread, bottled water, batteries, and other necessities that you need to help get through a long power outage or water shortage are gone. And while those are all great things to have on hand, what if you actually had to evacuate your home because of a flood or explosion that required a mandatory evacuation?. Could you grab a bin or bag and be out the door in five minutes with your family and animals? And enough supplies for up to seven days? 

This blog isn’t to scare you but to make you think a little differently about being prepared. You know the sayings of Murphy’s Law - if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. Hopefully, if you are prepared, you probably will never need to use it. 

Below are quick guidelines on what you should have in your emergency preparedness pet bag.

  1. Food - Of course, nutrition is going to keep us alive. However, maybe you need to pack a different type of food for your emergency bag than what you feed on a daily basis. If you feed raw food, it would be best to pack freeze-dried or dehydrated type foods. Dry kibble can also become very heavy when you need to move quickly. I would consider forgoing the kibble and packing a freeze-dried or dehydrated food for times like this. Many of our 10 lb bags of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods make up to 40 lbs of food! If you have food set aside in an emergency bag of food, it is best to rotate every 24 months to make sure the food is fresh and not past the expiration date. You could easily add the food you have into your pet’s diet so it doesn’t go to waste before restocking your emergency kit.
  2. Water - Clean, healthy, filtered water is needed for everyone. This could possibly be more important than food. You can easily fast and skip a meal but your body needs water to stay hydrated and functioning. The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person, per day. The number of animals you have and their size will determine the amount of water you will need per day. How much water would you need for 7 days? For my family - with two people, six cats, and one small breed dog -  I would need to prepare to have 20+ gallons of water. You could take this a step further and purchase a water filtration system for your to-go bag if hauling a large amount of water seems overwhelming.
  3. Photos and records for each pet - Current, clear photos of your pet from several angles with at least one good clear photo of their face is always very helpful. I recommend these are stored on a USB drive for quick and easy travel. If you have printed information for each pet, that is also helpful but it could get damaged, lost, or destroyed in your hurry to leave. Either paper copies or USB images should be updated on a yearly basis with your newest photos and include most recent veterinary paperwork. In case you get separated from your pet, you could also have a “Lost” poster saved onto your USB drive and ready for print. I know it’s hard to imagine you would need a “Lost” poster but, again, this is part of being prepared. 
  4. Medications - If your pet is currently on any medications that are necessary and life dependent, these should be packed with you and easy to grab as you exit your home. Instructions for each medication should be included. You could add the instructions onto your USB drive to have them with you at all times. When medications are added or changed, these should be updated on your drive as well.
  5. Collars, Leashes, Carriers, and ID Tags - Make sure these have the most up-to-date current information listed. Most often our dogs wear their collars all the time. In cases of an emergency, I recommend putting a collar and ID tags on your cats as well. I would even pack an extra leash, extra collar, and extra ID tag. This may seem overboard but, in an emergency, the more prepared, the better. If you have an animal that doesn’t walk well on leash then it’s best to put them in a carrier where they are safe. Carriers are often used for small dogs and cats. Don’t forget to put your name, phone number, and any other contact information on the outside of the pet carrier for identification purposes.
  6. Basics - These are the little extras needed to make life simpler when traveling or when away from your home during an evacuation.
    1. Bowls for food and water
    2. Litter & litter trays
    3. Waste clean-up bags
    4. Blankets and/or towels
    5. Wipes
    6. Crate or carrier per pet
    7. Toys / chews to keep them occupied if confined
    8. Cleaning supplies if necessary
  7. Remedies - Natural remedies can be very helpful during this stressful time. The following remedies are great to have and can be used for both human and pets to help with emotional overloads such as fear, anxiety, stress, and panic.
    1. Five Flower Formula - This is a flower remedy that is helpful for situational stress and anxiety. It can safely be given to cats, dogs, and humans to help calm your nerves while in new situations or at moments of stress. 
    2. Silver Shield - This colloidal silver formula is great for all types of needs. It can help with bacterial infections, viral infections, fungal infections, wound healing, and much more. It can be used internally and topically. 
    3. Activated Charcoal - This charcoal will bind to any toxins in the body and help remove them through the intestinal tract through stool. If you have a naughty pet that may get into things this is great to have on hand to help with any mishaps. Thinking beyond naughty pets, it can be useful for stopping diarrhea as well as used topically as a poultice to help with bites and stings.
    4. Lavender Essential Oil - Lavender is known as the “universal oil”. It can help in many different situations. You might use lavender to help with calming or you might use lavender for a minor skin abrasion. This essential oil is safe to use for both cats and dogs!
    5. Homeopathics - Two of my favorites to have on hand are Aconite and Phosphorus. Aconite is often used in situations of emotional shock, extreme fear, anxiety, and impending doom. Those are all emotions that are easily associated with quick evacuations. Phosphorus is often used for physical wounds and hemorrhaging but can be used for those who are fearful of loud noises from an emotional standpoint.
  8. Have A Plan - Make a meeting spot for everyone to meet, whether it's internally inside your home or externally outside of your home. This helps calm the chaos of knowing where everyone is to meet in case communications aren’t available. Is there a family home a few hours away from your home or a friend’s home where everyone is to meet? Are pets welcome? This should be clear and concise directions amongst those in your home. 
  9. Practice! - This might sound silly, but a few trial runs to figure out how everyone is going to fit in one car or if you need to take two cars is a good idea. Where are the emergency bags going to fit? And your water? This is a good summertime activity when you have nice weather to play around with the routine. Can you get it down to five minutes? Does everyone cooperate? Maybe you need to take some time getting your cats used to their carriers? As we all know, practice makes for a seamless routine if an evacuation ever takes place.

My goal is to have at least one item a month checked off the list above. Soon enough I will have a grab bag with everything needed (minus the water which I will just have to grab on my way out the door or have it pre-loaded in our vehicle). Will you join me in my challenge? I would love to see what you have put together in case of an emergency and what works for your family to help others prepare!

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