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Pet evacuation plans?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'd like to hear about your emergency plans for your pets (especially cats), should you be evacuated due to an emergency. I'm in the process of making up a plan to do this effeciently, and need some ideas (I have 9 cats, with the possibilty of more, should I decide to foster again). I really worry about this, as H has fluctuating work hours, and therefore, I'm alone most of the time, so most likely, it would only be me and the cats. I often wonder how I could manage to crate them all up FAST. Leaving them behind is NOT an option. Also, what items/what quantities of the items, would you take with you, for let's say, a 2 week period? Has anyone ever had to do this for real?

Thank you,

post #2 of 11
I have a plan to place all of my 8 animals in my car, without being in a crate and then to worry about the crate thing later when it is a safer time. That's the only plan that will allow me enough time to remove them all in the shortest amount of time..I do keep a cat carrier in my garage in front of my car at all times, and the dog's leashes are right there also..
post #3 of 11
We're not in an area where it's likely that we'll need to leave for long, and we have family nearby, so I wouldn't have to worry about supplies. But as far as getting them out of the apartment.....the only thing I've done is make sure I have enough carriers to put them in (I actually am short one, but I have a knapsac that Sammy loves to play in and, when our fire alarm did go off, I put him in that, then opened it in the car so he could go in and out as he pleased). Other than that....I've gotten rid of any really good potential hiding places. For example, our boxspring is on the floor because Lola had torn through the lining on the bottom and would hide in there when she was scared. Since I couldn't have gotten her out easily in case of emergency, we just got rid of the bed frame. Making sure they have nowhere too inaccessible to hide would help with a quick round-up.
post #4 of 11
The main thing that's crossed my mind is getting a bigger crate or carrier. Right now we only have a small, cozy carrier for going to and from the vet.
post #5 of 11
We were stationed in Germany in 1961 when the Berlin Wall went up, and all the Army families were evacuated to underground shelters, because no one knew whether it might be a prelude to attack. I was just five years old, but I have vague memories of everyone going out into the chilly night with their bags of emergency supplies. We were required to keep those bags by the front door, full of canned goods and jugs of water and extra clothing and blankets, just in case. We also kept all our important papers there -- passports, military ID, etc.

I still have emergency bags in the closet by the front door! Not quite so elaborate as back then, but I do keep water, soda crackers, some dry cat food, and one of those flashlights that don't require batteries -- you recharge it by winding a little crank for a minute or two. One of these days, I plan to get a radio that operates the same way. You have to remember to rotate the perishables, of course. I have a couple of small dishes in there for the cats to eat and drink from, and bathroom paper, and "moist towelette" packets. Also near the door are boxes with all my irreplaceable photos and a few keepsakes, so I can grab them quickly in case of a fire.

I hope none of us will ever need these plans, but it's good to have them.
post #6 of 11
I don't know, and I am scared about it. In this area it is possible that I would need to evacuate due to crime or some sort of hazardous material or something... and I do not have a car.

For a short time / local problem, I would put her on her leash and bring along a couple cans of food. Something like this you can always buy more soon enough. A large-scale thing-- like say, Columbus is being firebombed-- I would probably bring her carrier because if I end up in a shelter she is better off in the carrier and they might require it. But I have family in the two next closest (an hour and two hours) cities so we would be rescued soon!

I actually had a dream from which I awoke in sweats about this just the other night. It was one of those nuclear-bomb-attack sorts of dreams, and I was freaking out because I couldn't find Zissou. But let's face it- I'm within walking distance of the capital building so if Columbus gets nuked, we're both toast anyway

Wow, CarolPetunia. That must have been a scary time!
post #7 of 11
Thank you for bringing this up.

I live in a forest fire area and being burnt out, and out for a long time is a reality. My parents live next door. I have 7 cats and a horse, they have 7 cats, 3 dogs and 2 horses.

After helping the Katrina victims try and located their pets, emergency evacuation plans became top priority for us. I will not trust my animals to any emergency shelter, too many known owned animals, hundreds of them, disappeared.

So he have decided with so many animals that camping it long term is the way to go. The horse trailer is stocked with all emergency supplies. Step Dad gets the horses and dogs loaded into the trailer, Mom does her cats, I get my cats.

We each have enough carriers, if you can' afford alot of money, get the cheapo cardboard ones at Petco or PetsMart. These will at least allow temporary containment.

For the long term we bought tents. Some nice ones that are not too expensive at Walmart. So while not perfect, the cats would not be stuck in small crates if out of our home for more that a few hours. An eight man tent costs about the same as a medium sized dog cage.

Hurricane Katrina brought about a new awareness that people will not evacuate without their pets. Legislation has been passed to make sure pets are included in emergency plans. States are being required to provide emergency shelters that accept people and pets.

Everyone should contact their state and city officials to find out what emergency plans are in place. These plans are supposed to include transportation help for those without vehicles. Make sure you know what type of restrictions may be in place if you have to use public transportation. Some larger dogs may be required to be muzzled, even if friendly. Locate pet friendly hotels in areas around your home.

As part of your evacuation kit, make sure you have all important insurance papers, bank account number etc in an accessable place. ( I use a small fire box). Additionally make sure you have current photographs of all your pets in there as well, just in case you get separated. If your pets are microchipped make sure there is an alternate phone number, incase your home phone is out of service for days, weeks or months. Also consider having an "emergency email account listing". Most all libraries now have computers with interent access. HSUS relied 100% on the internet for Katrina information. Sadly, displaced people don't have access to the internet and this strategy for the most part failed miserably.

For those who are in tornado prone areas. Make sure if you are aware a sever storm is coming, get pets into carriers prior to it hitting. Even if there are no warning and just a watch. This way in the unlikely even you do get hit and your home is damaged, your pets will aready be contained and easy to "grab and go".

Sorry for rambling. This has become a big issue for me. Lack of preparedness and a belief that "it will never happened to me" resulted in the biggest human and animal tragedy this nation has ever seen. If we don't learn from this example it will happen again. Remember no one expected to be banned from New Orleans for three weeks. We all need to have long term and short term plans.

For those of us with lots of animals, this requires some careful planning.
post #8 of 11
Kittymonsters -- what a great post! Excellent information, and good thinking. And thank you for your work with the victims of Katrina...
post #9 of 11
A quick evacuation from the house was something I too wanted to prepare for.

Knowing the difficulty I have had with getting my guys (5) into "carriers" at the best of times, I opted to get a wire kennel (36" x 30" x 21"). It has a large door on one side (with a latch) - too wide to be obstructed by objecting paws!

It collapses flat (1") for storage so I can keep it in the coat closet by the front door - and it opens up in a flash. It has a tray (floor) included.

It's is made of heavier gage wire than some others I've seen, and so it's not light. But - for me, all I'll have to do is haul it straight out the front door and across the lawn....or, at least that's the plan. (You'll also need to plan for the additional weight of the cats.)

I've also had it out and set up so the cats are used to it - one less scary thing should an evac be needed.
post #10 of 11
I was actually thinking about this the other day when we had severe weather move our way. We were under tornado warning, and I was thinking how i was going to get the cats, dog, myself and husband into our tiny bathroom.... luckily that wasn't needed...
post #11 of 11
Speaking of tornadoes... we have them pretty often here. Between August and now we've had the sirens go off at least 6 or 7 times. SO here's my question. I have the bathroom as my only option pretty much. Would it be better to put Zissou in her carrier and bring her into the bathroom with me or is it better just to bring her into the bathroom with me? I usually hold her and she lets me because she can tell something is very bad (I am terrified of tornadoes, and am usually sobbing if it's bad enough to be in the bathroom) but I always wonder whether she is better off in or not in the carrier. Thoughts?
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