Pet ‘bug-out kits’ help keep animal friends safe in an emergency

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Any Creek Fire, which started a few miles outside of Fairbanks, prompted a possible evacuation for residents of the area. For residents who have pets or livestock, having a plan in case of an emergency will help ensure their safety.

An example of some things that should be in a 'bug-out kit' for a dog. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

Kimberly Imbert is the animal shelter operations supervisor at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter and said that animal owners should have a plan.

"So the importance for having an emergency preparedness plan is so that you can get your animals out of your home quickly if something happens such as a fire starts really close to your home," Imbert said.

A big part of the plan is a ‘bug-out kit’, "If you have a kit together and a plan of where you can go, then it just makes things flow a lot better and then you won't have a need for supplies that you have left behind," Imbert said.

She said a kit should have:
- A first aid kit for the pets.
- Seven days of food and water. Imbert said to make sure the food is rotated to stay fresh.
- Something to pick up poop or a litter box and litter.
- Paper towels and soap to clean up messes.
- Multiple ways to restrain the animal.
- A kennel for each pet.
- Bedding and blankets.
- Toys.
- Any medications for at least a month.
- Vet records.
- Photos of the pets, and photos of you with the pet.
- A pillow case to help catch small animals in the case of an emergency.

Imbert said that for the records, having a hard copy is important as phones can die and people don’t always have access to the internet. She said to store the kit someplace that is quickly accessible and to have a backpack with the bare essentials next to the door that can be quickly grabbed.

If an evacuation does take place, she said having a plan of where the animal/animals will go is also important. She said that a borough emergency shelter should be the last resort, especially for people with large amounts of livestock.

Imbert said they recommend that people always have their plan ready especially during fire season.

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