- Natural and man-made disasters often occur with little or no warning. Are you prepared to care for your family pets when an emergency strikes?
- With the Pet Evac Pak Emergency Survival Kit, your beloved dog or cat will have all the supplies necessary to get through the worst for at least 72 hours.
In the United States, during the past decade, 80% of the population lives in an area that has been affected by a natural disaster, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Whether it is a hurricane, tornado, flood, mudslide, wildfire, tsunami, or even a volcanic eruption, the danger is great for property loss and the loss of lives. The US Department of Homeland Security’s website, Ready.gov, and the ASPCA’s website offer excellent information for humans and animals preparing to ride-out weather events or evacuate during disasters.
I live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes and tornados. Having been through several near misses, I make sure that my family, including my pets, is prepared. We keep emergency supplies at home, but when there is a call for an evacuation, every person and animal is ready with an easy-to-carry emergency kit, or what’s also called a go-bag. I keep a running list of what is included in each bag and I check every six months for supplies and to update any documents. The bags are stored near an exit close to my purse and keys.
When you prepare a pet emergency kit, these basic supplies pet should be included:
- Food and water, including dishes
- Medications and first aid supplies
- Health records and a recent photo
- Litter for cats, waste bags, and pee pads for dogs
- Collar, leash, or harness
- Paper towels or wipes
- Can opener for food
- Garbage bags
- Hard- or soft-sided carrier
Through years of refining my emergency storm preparation, I’ve searched out the best supplies for a pet go-bag. These recommendations can be tweaked to fit the specific needs of your pet or environment, but they will serve the needs of almost every cat and dog.
Here are the best products for your pet emergency kit:
- Best overall pet emergency go-bag: Pet Evac Pak, LLC Premium Big Dog Emergency Survival Kit
- Best pet emergency kit cleaning wipes: Clorox Anywhere Wipes
- Best collapsible pet feeding bowls: Guardian Large Collapsible Dog Bowls
- Best pet first aid kit: Rayco International Ltd. Pet First Aid Kit and LED Emergency Collar
- Best fireproof and waterproof pet document bag: Cool Carry Fireproof Waterproof Document Bag
The best pet emergency kit
The Pet Evac Pak Emergency Survival Kit is designed specifically for cats and small to large dogs and includes everything your pet needs to be comfortable for at least 72 hours.
After getting caught a bit unprepared several years ago, I looked into prepacked options for my home and discovered Pet Evac Pak Big Dog Emergency Survival Kit. It has proven to be a lifesaver for my sanity and my four-legged friends. Everything the dogs need is pre-packed and ready for a quick exit. I have even used it when traveling because I feel confident that what I need will be available.
Packed into a durable backpack are food and water pouches, feeding bowls, a first aid kit, a waterproof ID holder, a slip-lead (a type of leash), Mylar blanket, LED light, waste bags, and even a rope toy. Knowing that everything is in one place, eases my mind should disaster strikes – one less thing to worry about when you need to evacuate quickly.
Since getting the first kit for a big dog several years ago, a much smaller dog has joined the family. For her, we have the Pet Evac Pak Small Dog Kit that includes a soft-sided carrier. She likes the carrier and seems to feel secure when there is lots of activity around her. There is a similar Pet Evac Pak and Carrier available for cats.
The kits have been through numerous road trips and a couple of evacuation due to potential storm damage and flooding. When we use any of the supplies, they are simply restocked before the backpacks are stored away.
Pros: Sturdy backpack filled with necessary pet supplies to last for at least 72 hours, easy to replenish
Cons: More expensive than stocking a backpack yourself, each pet should have its own bag
The best pet emergency kit cleaning wipes
A canister of sturdy Clorox Anywhere Wipes tucks easily into an emergency go-bag to clean-up messes, and are safe to use around pets.
Whether you purchase a prepacked pet evacuation kit or compile your own, having a cleaning wipe that is disposable, does a good job, and is safe for pets is invaluable. Clorox Anywhere Wipes fits all of those criteria.
Clorox Anywhere Wipes is an unscented, nontoxic plant-based cleaner that is strong enough to handle most any problem. Many wipes contain bleach that is toxic to pets if they lick the damp area (and they always do). While these wipes do not disinfect surfaces, they are anti-bacterial and safe to use on most surfaces.
I keep a canister in my pets’ go-bags. The resealable lid keeps the wipes moist; if they have dried out a bit, I simply dampen them with clean water to activate the cleaning solution. The wipes work great on muddy paws (and hands) and to wipe down food dishes. They require no rinsing before the surfaces are safe to use for food consumption or other activities.
If you shop at Petco, you’ll find these same wipes under the Clorox Pet Solutions brand -same product, same results.
Pros: Nontoxic to pets, strong and durable wipes, safe for most surfaces
Cons: Improper disposal of the wipe can cause a choking hazard for a pet
The best collapsible pet feeding bowls
Guardian Large Collapsible Dog Bowls fit easily into a backpack or can be hung from a loop using the carabiner clip.
Carrying bulky food and water bowls just aren’t practical when you’re evacuating – they take up too much space. But the Guardian Large Collapsible Dog Bowls are lightweight, fold flat, and slide right into a backpack pocket. You can even use the carabiner clip to attach them to an outside loop or belt.
I have several sets of these bowls and keep a couple in the go-bags and others in the car. They are perfect for a quick water break when traveling. While they are available in several sizes, I opt for the large bowls; if the smaller dog is using one, I only pop it open halfway. When fully open, the bowl will hold about four cups of water or food, which is ideal for my larger dog.
The bowls are made of thick TPE, dishwasher safe, and BPA-free. They are available in a range of colors. We have been using the bowls for two years, and there are no signs of cracking or significant wear.
Pros: Durable, lightweight, collapsible to 3/4-inch thickness, comes with a carabiner clip
Cons: Color of the bowls may vary from photo
The best emergency first aid kit for pets
Having a fully-stocked Rayco International Pet First Aid Kit and LED Emergency Collar in a go-bag is invaluable during emergencies.
Every responsible pet owner should keep first aid supplies ready. The possibility of an injury increases when an animal is under stress during a disaster evacuation, so having a Rayco International Ltd. Pet First Aid Kit with LED Emergency Collar in your pet’s go-bag is essential.
I own three of these: one for the bathroom cabinet, one for the car, and one for a go-bag. This kit is handy even in a non-emergency situation: I have used mine a few times for splinter removal and for applying the self-adhesive bandage to protect a medicated leg. As I use the supplies, they are simple to replenish from an animal supply or drug store.
When on the go, in addition to the typical first-aid bandages and supplies, you’ll find exam gloves, a Mylar blanket, a small collapsible water bowl, and a LED flashing collar that are all invaluable if you find an injured animal. The case is compact and water-resistant, perfect for a go-bag.
The two things I added to the Rayco kits are a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a sheet of basic first-aid techniques for pets just in case I get flustered. (VCA animal hospitals offer a free download that will help you care for an injured animal.)
Pros: Well-stocked pet first aid supplies in a small, waterproof bag, includes LED flashing collar and collapsible water bowl
Cons: Does not include a pet first-aid manual or antiseptic
The best pet document protection bag
The Cool Carry Fireproof Waterproof Document Bag will protect not only your pet’s records but your essential documents during a disaster.
When a disaster is imminent, do you know where your pet’s medical records are? “They’re accessible online,” you say. What if there is no cell service? That’s where the Cool Carry Fireproof Waterproof Document Bag and good-old paper records come in handy. Many shelters will not take in pets unless you can prove that their vaccinations are up-to-date.
Equally as important are your documents: copies of birth certificates, deeds, social security cards, credit card numbers, banking information, contact information, and photos of loved ones in case of a search. I keep the Cool Carry Bag in my personal emergency go-bag. It is lightweight; the perfect size to slip easily into a backpack; and fireproof and waterproof. At least every six months, I review the information and make sure everything is still correct.
Thankfully, my Cool Carry Bag has never been subjected to fire. It has gotten pretty wet but everything inside remained dry thanks to the zipper and Velcro closures and the silicone coating. One reviewer on Amazon did set one on fire and found that it became discolored, but didn’t ignite.
Pros: Waterproof and fireproof material protects documents, fits inside most backpacks easily, large enough to fit many laptops
Cons: Documents placed inside can mold if the bag is left underwater for extended periods