Disaster Preparedness: Are you ready?

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Disaster Preparedness: Are you ready?

Disaster Preparedness

  “Because you never know when the day before ... Is the day before. Prepare for tomorrow.”  ― Bobby Akart  

My husband and I moved to Reno in May 2003 from Northwest Ohio.  We left the flatlands -- prone to tornadoes -- for the Truckee Meadows - where wild-fires and earthquakes are a threat.  Have you considered how you would pack up your pets if you needed to evacuate your home?  Today’s SWVH blog will get you started in the right direction by outlining the two components of disaster preparedness: (1) making a plan and (2) preparing a disaster kit.  

Making a plan 

Pet identification:

  • Collars with tags that have up-to-date contact information
  • Microchip  (update contact information with national databases)

Pet carriers:

  • Label with your name, contact information, pet’s name 
  • Desensitize to carrier so pets see them as a comfortable space 
  • Keep in an easily accessible location for quick access.


  • Ensure you have needed items for car travel (carrier, harness, seatbelts) 
  • Know what public transportation allows pets


  • If it is appropriate to stay in your home, which room (interior, no windows) will you stay in with your pets?   Remove toxic plants/chemicals, block small spaces (vents cats could get stuck) 
  • If evacuated, make plans before disaster strikes for where you and your pets will go. Be aware that pets may not be allowed in local human shelters, unless they are service animals

            -Consider friends/family out of area

            -Know what hotels along the evacuation route allow pets 


Prepare disaster kit

o   Food, water, treats (plan for 2 weeks) – air tight containers, bring can opener (if needed)

o   Cats: litter, box

o   Dogs: plastic bags for waste

o   Disinfecting clean up items (paper towels, trash bags, disinfectant/enzyme cleaner)

o   Prescription medications and supplements (plan for 2 weeks), include treats used to give

o   Medical record summary (vaccinations, diagnosed medical conditions, microchip #, etc.)

o   Sturdy leashes

o   Beds or pet bedding  

Disasters and evacuations are a stressful time for humans and their pets – causing both the 4-leggers and 2-leggers to perhaps act differently.  Remember to keep your pets restrained (leash/carrier) at all times and be prepared for your pets to act differently due to stress (more barking, higher anxiety).  Hygiene is important especially if in a shelter situation – wash your hands frequently, after taking care of pet waste, after feeding your pets and before you eat.  

Go over your disaster plan for your pets with your family. Making sure everyone understands what goes in your disaster kit and ideas of where you will go  will help alleviate some stress during a future evacuation.  

Did you know you can have access to your pet’s medical record from SWVH via our website?  ePetHealth is a service you can sign up for to check vaccines due dates, request prescription refills and email us 24/7!  Check it out: https://epethealth.com/Home/Index  

Contact information for pet-friendly lodging:

www.bringfido.com or call 877-411-FIDO

www.dogfriendly.com or call 888-281-5170

www.doginmysuitcase.com or call 8880254-0637

www.pet-friendly-hotels.net or call 866-966-3046

www.pets-allowed-hotels.com or call 800-250-1625 

As always, the doctors and staff of SWVH are here to help!  Let us know if you have any questions/concerns about disaster preparedness for your furry family members.

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