EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: Are Your Pets Ready ?

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Are Your Pets Ready ?

"The first 72 are on you!"
by Emily Ivey of Yarn Miracle

The absolute best thing to do in an emergency is plan ahead. We live on the Gulf Coast and June 1 marked the beginning of Atlantic Hurricane Season, so I've spent a great deal of time thinking about our general emergency supplies.

One of the few advantages of a hurricane is that there are about three days warning before the storm arrives. There's time to fill the gas cans, grab anything you've forgotten (as long as it isn't bread, batteries or canned ravioli) and batten your hatches. But flooding, tornadoes, landslides, chemical spills, wild fires, earthquakes can all happen by surprise.

Emergency management recommendations suggest having enough supplies to take care of your household for 72 hours after an event.

In just the United States, 63% (71.1 million) of households include pets. If you haven't thought about what to do with your furry or feathered family members in an emergency, Disaster Preparedness Month is an excellent time to start!

As you are gathering your own emergency supplies, either to 'shelter in place' for a storm or as a 'just in case' measure, put together a collection of supplies for your pets. The most basic things you'll need in any emergency are pet food and water.

During hurricane season, I stay a week ahead of our cats' food supply. This way I make sure that there is plenty if the supply is cut off for a while. I also stay a week ahead of their prescriptions, just like i do for the human family members. I keep jugs of drinking water on hand at all times (a half gallon per cat) in case of a surprise disaster. We've used it more than once when construction or freezing temperatures break a water main! We just bought a couple large sports coolers to fill to save money when we have time to think ahead.

It probably goes without saying, but if you are having a a weather related emergency, or a disaster where you might have to evacuate quickly, BRING YOUR ANIMALS INSIDE. You'll be able to find them if you need to leave, and they will be safe from harm. We've trained our cats to all come out of hiding by yelling "Kitties!" and always providing treats when they show up. This also works great if you need to grab one of them for a vet visit.

First aid supplies for your animals are always excellent to have on hand. There are companies that produce ready-made kits of supplies. The Red Cross has even produced books on cat and dog first aid.

And absolutely MOST important: If you must evacuate, TAKE YOUR PETS WITH YOU. If it's not safe for you, it's not safe for them !
To make a difficult situation easier: Plan ahead! Plot your evacuation route ahead of time so that you can scout for hotels that allow pets or will waive restrictions in a disaster. Call ahead to make reservations as soon as you start making plans to leave. Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets (for a whole host of reasons).

If your personal emergency plan includes finding the nearest Red Cross shelter, you also need to find a local shelter (friend, relative, boarding kennel or veterinarian) that will foster your pets through an emergency. To be prepared for an evacuation, have a sturdy carrier, cage or the appropriate harness and leash ensemble for each of your pets in an easily accessible location. Our six cat carriers are lined up in the hall where they are readily available to anyone, our cat sitter works at our vet and has her own key to the house.

It is also an excellent idea to have a "go kit" for your animals. This should contain items like food and water, a litter box (they make pre-packaged disposables) if you have cats and puppy pads or newspaper for other animals. It should also have copies of your animals shot records with the name and number of your vet in a plastic zip-top bag or a waterproof container. If your animals do end up sheltered or fostered, the personnel will need those records. The Go Kits are great when you reach your destination, but are also invaluable if you are trapped in evacuation traffic for hours or if you can't get home and your neighbor needs to look after your animals.
Just a few more tips:

* Canned food is an excellent food for an emergency, and your cat or dog will need less water.

* Consider microchipping your pets - if this is not a possibility for you, take current pictures of you with your animals. After a disaster, things are extremely hectic, confusing and stressful. Microchips and current pictures will help in cases of mistaken identity should your pet become lost or separated from his tags.

* Animal behavior may change
DRAMATICALLY in an emergency. Be aware of this and act to keep your pet, yourself and others safe from harm.

* Don't forget the manual can opener!

More Disaster Preparedness Guides, Tips and Checklists:

* There is a shop that sells entire cases of vegetarian MREs. Yay! Some of the emergency ration bars are Vegan. If you plan ahead, there is no need to sacrifice your principles to stay alive.

* Both FEMA and the Red Cross have recommendations for sheltering livestock and other large animals. Check their websites for details.

* One last thing, every single house should have an old-fashioned phone with an attached handset that plugs into the wall. They cost about $10 and are absolutely invaluable when the power is out.

We know you love your animals...
So be prepared !


  1. Thanks so much for this super informative article! I thought I was pretty prepared but I now see I definitely have a few more things to take care of! Let's hope none of us will ever need to make sure of all these great tips :)

  2. Great article full of valuable information!

    Better go buy some more supplies now!


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