Pet Safety: How to Prepare Your Pets for an Emergency

by K Marie Alto Published June 16, 2019 Updated 2 min read

Pet Safety: How to Prepare Your Pets for an Emergency

I’ll never forget my first “real” earthquake. Hubby was at work and I just arrived home to our apartment after finishing the closing inspection on our new townhouse.

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We were casually chatting when the ground began to violently shake. He yelled for me to leave the apartment building, but I couldn’t leave my 4 fur babies.

The terror on their little faces as they ran to hide froze me in my tracks. I didn’t know what to do and I was not prepared.

How to Prepare

That unusual 5.8 earthquake in Virginia occurred back in 2011 and since then I’ve become more prepared for emergency events.

The following are some practices I follow that you may find useful.

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  • I put my fur babies to bed behind a closed door. Free reign of the house isn’t permitted overnight. I didn’t start this habit until we moved into a bigger house where I quickly realized I would never be able to find all my babies if an emergency were to occur. The peace of mind knowing exactly where they are is priceless especially when the smoke alarm went off around 3 AM and there was no power in the house.
  • Carriers are kept within quick reach. Since they aren’t used often it’s not uncommon to tuck the carrier in the basement or at the top of the closet. I have 4 carriers that are soft-sided. I now leave 2 in the “kitty’s” bedroom and two on the main floor. They assemble almost instantaneously so all I have to do is grab a kitty, place her inside, and zip the lid.
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  • I keep an emergency kit. You can find a million lists online about what these kits should include; I have the following items:
    • Several cans of wet food
    • Bottled water
    • Small stainless steel bowls
    • A scented snuggle blanket
    • A catnip toy
    • A labeled container with a few days worth of meds
    • Harness and leash
    • Potty pads
    • Feliway pheromone spray. I swear by this stuff to help calm anxiety.
    • Pet wipes (stress can cause accidents)
    • An unopened bag of treats

I keep this kit right by the carriers so I can grab everything on the go.

I also have a reminder on my phone to swap out items that expire so nothing goes to waste.

Living in an area that is more likely to have a hurricane or tornado, these are my basics.

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I also keep a small bag of litter and a disposable litter box in the basement in case we need it for sheltering in place or an evacuation.

Don’t forget a litter scoop and some bags that can be tied up for waste.

Do you have an emergency kit for your fur baby? What did you include?

K Marie Alto
K Marie Alto

K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer (, and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 45K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-).

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