pet preparedness

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By Kellene Bishop

Photo c/o Self-Reliant Sisters

Photo c/o Self-Reliant Sisters

Far too many folks I’ve spoken to have shared with me that they have their 72 hour kit and thus are ready for an emergency. Before I go into detail about the contents of 72 hour kits, I’d like to make perfectly clear that 72 hours kits serve one purpose and one purpose only – to aid you IF you are forced to flee your home and relocate somewhere else for safety and supplies.

That’s right. A 72 hour kit is not to live off of through the duration of a disaster. For crying out loud, you’ve got teenagers whose meltdowns last longer than 72 hours. What kind of a silly person would think that a 72 hour kit is intended as survival for anything else but to aid in a “bug out” scenario? 

I will admit, I have 2 levels of “72 hour kits.” I have one that is VERY minimalistic in a large backpack, and I have another one that is much more inclusive and requires my rolling suitcase or a hand-pulled wagon to be mobile. If I’m unfortunate enough to have to travel in the midst of an emergency, then there’s a pretty good chance that I would be able to throw on the backpack and still pull the rolling 72 hour kit behind me as well.

That said, I want to remind folks that there should be sufficient consideration for providing mobility for those in your home who may not be able to carry their own 72 hour kit. I’ve seen folks pack enormous 72 hour backpack kits for their 4 year old daughter. Ugh! If you’ve got young ones or fragile elderly that are accompanying you on your emergency trek, be sure to pack sufficient supplies AND make sure that you’ve got a wagon or something to ensure that everybody and everything is mobile in case you aren’t able to travel via automobile. 

HugaMonkey Baby Sling

HugaMonkey Baby Sling

Wagons, bicycles, bike side-cars, jogging strollers, carts, and rolling suitcases are great resources to transport your belongings. Be sure that you also consider a carrier for the young ones that don’t interfere in your own mobility. (I HIGHLY recommend the HugaMonkey Baby Slings. They work well with newborns in sleep/nursing position, as well as babies a bit older in the forward or on the hip position.)

Another consideration is the transportation of your pets. Are they the kind that can safely join you on a voyage or will they require that you carry them? Do you intend to take them with you? If so, do you have the necessary supplies so they can endure a 72 hour period safely as well? I’ve managed to raise two “sissys” with my little pooches. They aren’t the big husky kind of dogs. So a leash WITH a harness would definitely be necessary for them but so will some accommodation for relief from lengthy walking. I have foot covers for them so that they won’t experience too much strain on their feet in comparison to the carpeting. (Yes, I am embarrassed to say that I’ve raised two wimps.)

The key to a quality 72 hour kit is to minimize the impact of the size and space of everything you are packing. This is why I use coupons to obtain trial sizes of items (for free usually). Bug out or not, you still need to have everything available that you use on a regular basis. Hygiene, clothing, sanitation, food, water, clothing, medical, light source, utensils, shelter, self-defense, communication supplies, bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, some currency, etc., etc., etc. It’s not a bad idea to have a 72 hour kit available in your office as well. The likelihood of you being at work when all heck breaks loose is substantial.

You also need to be sure that you’ve properly packaged the items in your 72 hour kit. When I’ve done home assessments for emergency preparedness, 72 hour kits are frequently accompanied by granola bars that are old, dry, and pungent! Yuck! So, not only do you need to package items so they stay usable, but you also need to refresh items in your 72 hour kits. You can’t afford to create them and then forget them.

72-hr-kit-living-willImportant documents are also critical to have on hand in your 72 hour kit. Let’s face it. If you’re having to use your kit, it won’t be under ideal circumstances. Having copies of items such as your will, deed to the home, title to the car, drivers licenses, birth certificates, wedding certificate, etc. should all be a part of your 72 hour kit. Such evidence may make the difference between you being allowed into “door number 1” or a less desirable “door number 2.” You may also want to sock away an emergency debit or credit card in your kit as well.

Tomorrow I’ll provide for you a detailed list of supplies I recommend for your 72 hour kit. Until then, keep prepping!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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rocky1I’ve had cats and I’ve had dogs. Regardless, they have always felt very much a part of my family.  My concern for their care in an emergency is every bit as important to me as anyone else in my family.  Here are some tips for you to implement in order to have peace of mind in case of an emergency.


1) Start training your pets now how to properly greet and interact with others.  You must teach them when it is appropriate to “bark” now or you could compromise your safety in the future. 

 puppy-play2)     Be sure that you have a sufficient “grab and go” pack for your pets in the event you have to leave your home immediately for 2 to 3 days. The items in this bag should contain food, water plus a container, a familiar toy, spare leash and collar, a blanket and some bedding.  
 3)     Be sure that you have the means of filing their nails.  In the event that you have to trek a ways, long nails will get infected and complicate their travel.  It’s surprising how many people who don’t file their pets nails and rely on the groomer to do so instead.  
4)     Have familiar toys stored for your pet. Be mindful to play with them in the same fashion they are used to when you find yourself having to rough it while you’re riding out a disaster. 
 ginger-teething5)     Have teeth cleaning supplies available.  In an emergency, it’s very likely that your pet will be eating—or attempting to—foreign items to their diet.  These items will be foreign to their dental care as well.  In the event of an emergency, a trip to the vet will not be feasible, so be sure that you have supplies for the care of their teeth as well as your own.    
6)     Rather than just a collar, have a halter for them.  In an emergency, your pet may have plenty of reasons to respond to their surroundings differently that you are accustomed to.  A harness/halter is more sturdy in maintaining their positions and less stressful for their neck. Be sure the halter is rugged. While the cute harnesses are fashionable, they may do little to ensure the safety of your pets should you have to head for the hills.   
sturdy-leash7)     Be sure that you have a secure means of tethering them. Allowing your dogs or cats to roam wild in an emergency state is not smart!  I don’t mean to be overly graphic, but people and/or animals may see them as food instead of family members.  Keep them with you for your own safety as well as that of others.  Consider a stake in the ground and a sturdy adjustable leash.  You don’t want your pet resorting to his natural instincts of running in a pack with other strays.  Plan on keeping him with you as a part of your family if you want him to remain a part of your family.

8 )
Store their breed and medical documentation in a waterproof package.  Just as you would want your valuable documents for your identification and health, you will also want them for your pets as well.  
9)     Prepare for medical fix-ups for your pets.  Have bandages, sewing kits, super glue, brushes, picks, tweezers, and other medically necessary items.  Should you have a prescription for your pet, be sure to have some extra accessible to ride out an unexpected event as well.   
ginger-bag10)  Think in advance about what you need in order to transport your pet.  That might be a carrier, a box, a wagon, etc, since you can’t expect your pet to walk all the time.  You may also find that for his own safety you have to confine him. 
11)   Store a year’s supply of food for your pet.  If it’s good advice for you, it’s good advice for them.  While you may find yourself thinking they will just live off of spare foods or mice, think twice.  Do you want your animals to eat other rabid animals?  Do you want your animals to have the most nutrition available to them in order for them to survive a stressful situation the same as you?  Of course.  Then feed them what they know, and what you are certain contains nutrition for them.  If you store the dry food in a plastic sealed bucket with an oxygen packet, it will last much longer than it will in its original packaging.
sinta-clothes12)  It’s not a bad idea to have some clothing available for your pet.  While I’m not an advocate of dressing your pet up regularly, there are at least two items that your pet can use that will save you both a lot of hassle.  Get booties for them in the event they have to walk more then they are accustomed to.  It will preserve the soft portion of their paws from getting splinters or cuts.  Also, get a rain repellant vest for them wear as well. Be sure that it fits them properly.  You definitely don’t want it too tight or you’ll have other problems to deal with such as blisters and infections.


Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.