by Alice McGowen
Planning your personal go-kit is important but don’t forget your service dog. For your animal’s health and safety, you might consider creating two types of go-kits . For instance, individuals who are power dependent may wish to plan on sheltering at a location with backup generators in advance of severe storms. Many times this is just for a few hours or overnight until power is restored. Create one kit just for day trips or overnight planning, and one for longer term evacuation. Here are recommended items to consider for your service animal go-bag:
Sheltering and Comfort Items
- Supply of any medications your animal is taking.
- Week’s supply* of food (Some wet food is recommended to improve hydration)
- Week’s supply* water.
- Treats (helps keep life normal and reduces stress)
- Bowl (small dish soap can be handy)
- Blanket (Covering cages in large shelters helps calm the animal)
- Appropriate pet outerwear for weather such as booties or coat
- Favorite Toy
- Manual can opener
- Plastic bags and paper towels for cleaning up waste.
- Disinfectant such as Clorox wipes or sanitizer
- Small bottle of dog’s regular shampoo
- Crate or other pet carrier
- Pack a copy of the ADA laws – you may need it to resolve access issues
*(72 hours is recommended for your smaller go-kit)
Working and Safety Items
- Booties to protect your dogs feet from glass, sharp objects and cold/hot surfaces
- Service Vest and ID badge if your dog has one
- Extra Leash, collar and harness.
- Pet First Aid Kit
- Small flashlight and spare batteries
Identity Records (Records help with proof of ownership, and access to shelters) When possible laminate documents or store in water proof baggie/container.
- Copy of all current vaccinations and health records,
- Copy of your identity papers (In case you become separated from your dog)
- License numbers, micro-chip or tattoo numbers and tags.
- List of allergies if any (food, medication or anything else)
- Pet Medication (If any) and feeding schedule.
- Several photos of your animal (you with your animal helps with proof of ownership)
- Contact numbers for your service dog’s veterinary and other relevant resource numbers
Ken Jorgustin on the “Modern Survival Blog” recommends that you talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. You may consider a pet first aid reference book.
Questions You Might Wish to Ask
When it comes to evacuation what things should you consider?
- Talk to your local Red Cross office or dial 211 now and find out what agencies may have services and registries. Ask when and where you can shelter based on your particular needs.
- Is there a Vulnerable Population shelter available near you? (some cities provide them)
- Have you made arrangements for your non-service pets and made a disaster kits for them?
- What type of transportation services will be available locally for your specific needs.
- Do you have regularly scheduled services such as dialysis, ask what their emergency service plan is for clients?
- Do you have home health care services, ask them what is their emergency plan for clients?
- Does your electric company have a registry for power-dependent individuals.
- Do you receive meals on wheels, if you shelter in place will you be able to provide for your service dog and yourself, does your meal service provider have an emergency plan
- Do you have a Pet Alert Sticker in your window? If you evacuate with your pet/service dog post a sign or place duck tape across the sticker with a note on it that says “evacuated”
- A set of keys should be given to your “Designated Caregivers” in case you cannot take care of your dog.