Alberta has had its share of natural disasters in recent years, and in each case pets were impacted. In the case of the Fort McMurray fire in 2016, over 1,200 animals had to be rescued from the community once the flames had passed.
Below is a list of items that you should plan to have for your animals should you need to evacuate on short notice. Also, you should have information with you (on your phone) so you can identify your pets should you become separated and the animals need to be rescued from the disaster zone.
(Right) the staging area in Edmonton for animals that were rescued from Fort McMurray after the fire had passed through the community in 2016.
A Pet Emergency Kit should have the following items
- Three to seven days worth of food
- Bottled water
- Medications (2 weeks supply)
- Copy of pet’s medical records and vaccinations (in water proof container)
- Food & water dishes
- Extra leash and harness
- Kitty litter and tray
- Pet carrier or kennel
- Extra toys/blankets
Imagine what you will need to keep your animals comfortable in a hotel for two weeks and this will help guide you in preparing an emergency kit.
Various photos from the pet evacuation centre.
(Below left) The cat room at the evacuation centre.
(Below right) Donated supplies for the animals.
Our organization, along with other animal welfare groups, had to plan for many species of animals.
(Above) Backyard chickens that were brought to Edmonton after the fire.
(Above left) A pair of budgies from Fort McMurray.
(Above right) The reptile room at the evacuation centre.
If You Become Separated From Your Pets
In many instances people are forced to evacuate without their pets. Getting reunited with your animals during a disaster situation can be complicated, and the task is much easier if you take steps in advance, such as;
- Have your pets licensed with your local municipality so details of your animals are established and on the record.
- Have up to date ID for your animals including:
- Tattoo or microchip
- ID tag with animal’s name, your phone number & urgent medical needs
- Keep recent photos of your pets with you
(Below) Animals at the Edmonton Evacuation Centre
(Above) A cat that suffered burned paws is bandaged up by fire fighters following the Fort McMurray fire.