Keep Pets Safe During Natural Disasters; Ash Fall Precautions

Pack a “go kit” for your pets if you must evacuate your home during a disaster.

With today’s news of 80 large fires burning on 2,200 square miles in nine Western states, OHS encourages pet owners to keep their pets in mind when preparing for disaster or an emergency evacuation. If you must evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind. If it is unsafe for you to remain, then it is unsafe for your pets as well.

Pack a Pet Go-Kit

Be sure to bring needed pet supplies with you by pre-packing a “go kit” for your animals. A kit should include:

  • Collar/harness and leash for each dog and a carrier for each cat. In choosing a cat carrier, choose one that is large enough to serve as a temporary apartment for your cat.
  • Three to seven days of canned or dry food
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
  • Cat litter, small litter box (aluminum roasting pans are perfect), litter scoop, and plastic bags for waste disposal
  • Photocopies and/or USB stick with medical records; vaccination records are a must
  • Waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Favorite toy or bed, and favorite treats
  • Most Importantly,  collar, tag, microchip, and photographs of your pets

Pet identification is the single most important thing you can do to help ensure that you will be reunited with your pet. Make certain your pet (even an indoor only cat) is wearing a collar with visible identification tags. A microchip implant is a secure form of identification that can’t be lost. Be sure to carry a photograph with you to increase the likelihood of finding a missing pet.

Ash Fall Precautions

With ash coming down in the Portland areas from the fires in the Columbia Gorge, here are some reminders to keep pets safe:

  • Keep pets indoors. Ash is abrasive and can do permanent damage to your pet’s eyes. Also ash can cause respiratory problems for pets and prolong exposure can be fatal for animals
  • Store extra food and drinking water
  • Keep extra medicine on hand
  • If pets go outside, brush or vacuum them before letting them indoors
  • Make sure livestock have clean food and water