If you live here in Portland or in the surrounding areas, then you’ve probably heard about the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that is predicted to hit our area, and you may have started preparations to make sure you and your family are ready if it occurs. Whether it’s an earthquake or another kind of disaster, don’t forget to prepare for your pets too!
Disasters can strike at any time, but with the following tips you can ensure that your cat will be safe in the event of an emergency.
Disaster Preparedness for Pets
1. Develop a Plan – Make sure that you and your family have a plan for each type of disaster that could affect your area as well as an evacuation plan.
2. Get a Rescue Alert Sticker – Order a free sticker from the ASPCA to put on your window to alert rescue personnel that there are animals inside your home. (These are great to have just in case you aren’t home in the event of a disaster.)
3. Assemble a Kit – Put together an emergency kit for your pets using the list below as a guide.
4. Make a List – Make a list of hotels, clinics, shelters, or boarding facilities in your area that can accept pets during these times.
5. Check All Carriers/Cages – Make sure that your carriers are easily accessible and in good condition with both your information and your cat’s information (i.e. name, address, phone number, cat’s name, description of your cat, any microchip or other ID numbers, and pet insurance policy number) somewhere on the carrier.
6. Get Microchips and Identification Tags for All Pets – Microchip your pets and make sure the information registered to them is correct. Then, consider getting them a second form of identification, such as a collar and ID tag.
7. Vaccinate All Pets – Make sure that all of your pets are up-to-date on their preventative care and that you have a copy of their medical records. Disaster relief services typically require proof that your pets are current on their vaccinations (especially rabies) to reduce the spread of disease.
8. Talk to Friends and/or Family – Talk to your loved ones to determine who would be able to care for your cat in the event of a disaster in your area.
9. Keep Vehicles Full of Gas
10. Keep Some Cash Available
Pet Emergency Kit
We also encourage you to prepare an emergency kit for your cat in the event that you should need one. Make sure to include all of the following items:
- Medical records and proof of ownership documents
- 3-4 contacts as people who could take over care if necessary
- Container with comfortable bedding (ideally, this container should be large enough to accommodate a litter pan just in case your cat needs to spend extra time in it)
- 14 day supply of canned (pop top) food or dry food (make sure to rotate the food when it nears its expiration date)
- 14 day supply of bottled water
- Waste collection bags and basic cleaning supplies
- Favorite toy(s)
- 14 day supply of cat litter
- Disposable litter pans (aluminum roasting pans work great too)
- 14 day supply of any medications that your cat needs (again, remember to rotate these so they don’t go bad or lose their effectiveness)
- Blanket (these can help to pick up fearful pets)
- Pet first aid kit