Pets in a disaster 

You have a plan, go bags, bug out bags, emergency supplies for every family member filling all extra storage spaces of your home, but have you thought about your pets in a disaster scenario? Every person for themselves doesn’t quite work here. You have raised these critters as your own and now need to provide for them as they have lost that skill. From food to treats, toys or entertainment, schedules and habits, your pets will need you just as much as your human family members if not more. Your pets are dependent upon you during the best of cases, during a disaster this will remain the same and add extra stress to both you, your family, as well as them. Accounting for them after a disaster should fall in line with accounting for the human members of your family.

Dogs are creatures of habit, they have schedules and will need you to lead them through this disaster. They will require extra attention, and comfort to understand what has happened, and how you will make it right.

Cats have staff, and that is you! While they don’t have regular schedules or habits, in the event of a disaster, your cats will be looking at you to put things right to the level of comfort that they have grown accustomed. This level of stress will have adverse effects on them.

Small mammals while not as needy as the two previous mentions, small mammals are totally dependent on you for everything. They may not need the attention or comfort; however, you will need to ensure that you are providing them the same level of care as they were receiving prior to the disaster.

Large mammals, despite their size will be one of easiest to handle during a disaster as they were already more than likely living outdoors, and feed is available. The hard part will be keeping them maintained in their normal area as corals or fences may have been destroyed.

Reptiles will be one of the most difficult pets in this scenario, as most of them have required temperature, or humidity levels to survive. While some are cute, most are not natural to your area, they haven’t adapted to your climate.

Birds / fowl are one of the easiest in a disaster scenario, as they can adapt quickly. They will still be dependent upon you for food and cleaning, but their requirements are not as high as some of the others mentioned above. Most can fend for themselves very well if caged outdoors. Most difficult part for these will be keeping predators away.

Don’t just give up on them and throw them to the wolves so to speak. If you release a pet into the wild, the odds of their survival are not very high. Ensure that you are there for them during this just as you were doing the good times.

Making sure that you have spares or extra (food, treats, time, energy) for your pets, like you have for the human members of your family is critical for them to make it through the disaster. Mind your stress level around them to help them cope.

Take this into account if you feed wildlife around your area as well, they would appreciate the easy feed after a disaster, so keep a little extra on hand for them too.

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