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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Disaster Expo-Book Fair Events

Thank you for visiting the Family Disaster Dogs booth at the Florence Be Ready Disaster Expo !

Thanks to all who came to hear my talk about evacuating with our pets ! I had a great time visiting with everyone and learned a lot myself. Go Florence !

The weather is great for next week's book fair and I hope to see everyone there.

Take care, until next ready !

Stay Calm and Carry On !

Follow that dog to read the complete Bug-out Bag List posted below this  post on

Dog Bug-out Go-Bag List-cats too

Dog Bug-Out Go-Bag List
Evacuate with your Dog and Pets

Willie ready to bug-out

Hi everyone, 

2019 update click to The Bug Out Bag Evacuate Page for updates to the below list but please read this whole post first too!

For those of you who haven't heard of a Bug-out bag, it is a carry bag, backpack or in a dog's case, saddlebag that you pack with emergency survival gear to last a certain amount of time, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours. 

It's also called a go-bag, ready pack, grab-bag or 72 hour pack and it is meant to hold what you need to survive in the event of a disaster or emergency.

When you go away from home and leave food plus necessities behind this bag holds what you and your dog need to survive no matter where you are or what happens. 

To be ready for emergencies every household should have a 72 hour Bug-out bag for each person and pet packed ready at all times. 

This bag is meant to be a grab and go-to for food, water and first aid. You either carry it to a safe place when evacuating or have the bag with you when needed if something happens no matter where you are.

The basic needs to survive are food, water and first aid but other items can make the journey or stay away from home much more enjoyable or productive and safe. 

Like packing a simple fish hook and line in the bag because that small item can feed you for days after an earthquake or hurricane and long after the food in the Bug-out bag runs out. 

While doing search and rescue work we were required to carry at all times a 72 hour backpack or pack no matter what we were engaged in or how many other people were with us, we each had to be able to take care of and provide for ourselves.

In an actually disaster or emergency, you will have to take care of your needs too. Each person will have to take care of themselves for a little while until help arrives. This can be minutes or days depending on the situation and location.

Willie G and Miss Daisy ready to "bug-out" 2014

This go-bag or bug-out list is made up from items I actually used during search incidents and also includes what is recommended by FEMA and other agencies. 

Each person and pet should have a bag of it's own.

One of the first things I realized when I started writing the family disaster dog lessons was that most dogs could carry some of our survival gear or extra first aid supplies or food along with their own pet supplies. 

Then I wondered why didn't somebody else think of this :) Why didn't my Bloodhound carry my 72 hour bag way back then, oh the backache I could of saved myself today. I actually fitted Daisy and Willie up with bags as we wrote the first article and they both loved being so much help, they were excited and wanted to wear the bags everywhere. 

Daisy pictured below was a big girl, she even had a frying pan hanging on her pack for us to cook supper with. She was 12 years old and Willie was older when he started bug-out bagging, we had fun with it.

When I looked online, I found out that all of the dog or pet bug-out bags (emergency survival bag) recommendations or lists follow a general rule of suggestions that usually contain only basic pet items. 

Not many people had thought of including the dog owner's emergency preparedness items in a dog saddlebag, along with the dog's food for disaster or evacuation purposes. 

I did find a few campers and hikers that use dogs for carrying items but no specific dog bug-out bag for people. Which is my idea if anybody wants to produce them, let me know, I'm working on putting them together and if you do not wish to make your own, I can also put one together for you at cost of items and shipping. email me 

I do sell packed Family Disaster Dog Bags at events I is "Dumpster" dog getting one..

His new bag is still being adjusted when this picture was taken

I thought this was a great idea because the dog can be included in being prepared for an emergency and instead of us trying to save the dog during a flood or tornado, the dog is helping us save the family or ourselves. 

Teach just one of my training lessons to any dog and you may save a life. 

The dog doesn't need to learn all the lessons. Like people every dog is different and has abilities they can use to help themselves and others in some way.

This concept of having the dog rescue us puts the dog into disaster planning where the dog will not end up lost, left behind or in a shelter. 

The dog has a purpose to stay with the family and help too. Why not use the dog's natural age old assistance they are always willing and ready to give us? 

Everyone I talk to agrees that the dog carrying the bag is a great helpful idea.  Our dogs are proud to carry extra things we might need and this gives the dog a job so they know what to do too, instead of being scared and in distress of the unexpected.

You can teach your dog to get the saddlebags and bring them to you too which saves valuable time as you get other people and things ready to evacuate. I have the lesson in the Family Disaster Dogs book and up on the lesson page above in the menu bar, you'll find the link.

Also, I have a lesson that teaches how your dog can wake you and family members in an emergency, like when tornado or storm sirens go off. You can send the dog to wake the children while you get the car ready. 

A well planned family could have a dog that helped load the car by waking up the children and fetching the gear to the car then all you do is open the doors.

The dog carrying a backpack can save valuable time and energy, this could be especially helpful for families with young children who can't carry much weight over long foot travel or an elderly person who can't carry much. 

You or other people would have to carry twice the load in that case, if there isn't a dog to help with the load.

I think it’s a good idea to evaluate the list below based on your own experience, location and then add items to it that might be useful for you and your family's environment.  

The list below looks large but it is meant to be lightweight and take up less space so you and your dog can carry food, water and a change of clothes in your backpacks. You may have to travel several miles on foot and the weight of a backpack can become a critical aspect when you have a long way to walk.

The 72 hour Go-Bag or Ready Bag that is recommended by FEMA and emergency management directors worldwide is designed for you to carry so you can walk to a safe location and survive for 3 days.


Unless you have a very small dog or pet, such as a bird, don’t worry about having a dog crate/cage to evacuate with unless you want to drag it along with you as you walk or if you are going to a human shelter which requires dog crates. 

(You can click the photo below to see more styles of cages on amazon and each purchase will help support the free lessons and work here. thank you)
A crate is important once you get to your bug out place or safe house. 

It is a good idea to have a crate waiting for you at your evacuation destination.

A leash is more important to have with your dog along with basic obedience training, in case a leash is not available.

A pillow case is handy to hold cats or other small mammals during extremely frightening times because the animal cannot see what is going on, they can breath and the material is comforting like a nest.

Birds can be slipped into a sock with the head out of a hole or gently covered so they do not see and get upset. Most animals can become very scared when people get excited or traumatized. It is safer to crate them or put them in a quite area away from the excitement, if at all possible.

If left on their own, most animals will seek shelter and come out after the excitement calms down and they will stay close to home unless they are scared away, and then most will return to a familiar location in a day or two.

Family Disaster Dog Bag ( basic)

Animal Rescue Shelters Recommendations
If you must leave your pets behind 

Inform animal rescue workers of your pets’ status by Writing On your front door or in a highly visible window, use chalk, paint or marker to write the number and types of pets in your residence. Include their location in your home and the date that you evacuated. 

Leave plenty of water in a large, open container that cannot be tipped over.

Leave plenty of food in timed feeders to prevent your pet from overeating.

Do not tie or cage up your pet in your home. If the house floods or collapses with windows breaking, the pet can escape if not confined in a cage or tied.

If you have any ideas you would like to share with others, please use the contact page to leave me a comment or idea to include on this site or share with others.

Dog or Pet 72 hour Ready Bag

Dog Go-Bag and People Bug-Out Bag..........List of Items

The Blue print are my recommendations. The black print is the usual list everyone tells us

These items are the survival supplies recommended for you to carry in bug-out bags.

A current color photograph of you and your pet together (in case you are separated)

Food, water – 3-day supply for each pet and person (Tie water bottles on outside of packs and use empty water bottles to store instant oatmeal, powered soups, instant rice, potatoes, powered milk, snacks and dog food)

Bowls -with lids, you can pack small items in these to fit in the space of dog backpack, can be used as cups too

Collar and leash -for dogs and cats too

Muzzle ( This is in case the dog is hurt and snapping from pain or fear)

Poop Scoop Baggies

Treats, toy

Blanket, towel, or newspaper for warmth

ID tag should always be on pet

Extra name tag

License number

Pet carrier or crate for each pet labeled with pet and owner’s information (keep near your bag).

Contact Lists Should be

Place in Pet’s backpack or rescue coat

Be aware that some shelters will only allow service animals. In a large-scale disaster, animal shelters will be set up when possible. Many of these facilities will be closed to the public in order to be able to deal with the rescues going in through other channels. The case load will be to large to take care of everyone which is why people should learn all they can about surviving without help.

1. Name, address and phone number of veterinarian, animal control and shelters in the  area. 

2. People to contact to take care of the animal 

This is a good idea if you are in a situation away from home so your animal can be taken care of. 

3. Be sure you leave a note with a friend about your pet being left at a kennel or day care in case something happens to you so they can get your pet. Kennels or day care facilities are often left with abandon dogs whose owners have disappeared.

If you are in a disaster, unless you have direct contact to a person, do not count on anybody to be able to help you because they might be in the same situation and need help themselves.

4. Vaccination and medical records

5. Allergy or other special instructions

Most first Aid Kits Recommend These Items

Scissors-other pocket knife
Gauze pads
Instant cold pack (to big to carry-cold mud works in a pinch)
Adhesive tape
Antiseptic cream
Eye drops

Family Disaster Dogs recommends adding 
these items to your dog’s Go-Bag or Bug Out Bag

compass and a map of your area

A Scent Article from each family member packed individually and secured in a plastic bag. Even if your dog is not trained they can be given a scent and they will seek the scent if you pay close attention you can read the dog, for instance, the nose may point in the person's direction while the dog remains sitting.

A couple of small flashlights with extra batteries or another light source

Water Purification Tablets

12 Hour Emergency Bright Sticks

16 Hour Hand Warmer

2 Mylar Emergency Blanket

Extra Collar & Leash Set

Reflective Dog Vest (cats too)

Life Jacket swim float vest for dog and cats

Pet Rain Coat and Boots will give your pet some protection in a nuclear fall out as will a full

Body rain suit for your self-extra shoes can hang on outside of bag

Tie-Out leash or chain 10-15 ft long

Powder Gatorade or electrolytes

Large Tea Bags (stops bleeding on dog or you, wet tea bag -hold on wound)

Candles and matches in a waterproof baggie.

Fire-starter (can buy in hunting section of stores)

Silverware, cup and bowl for yourself

Vet Wrap 

Toothbrush, hair brush and personal items to make yourself feel better, a favorite picture, toy or blanket,food item or comfort item always helps too

A book to read, like the family disaster dog book. Get a paperback copy or Get the Ebook for your device to read as you bug-out.

click the links to learn more, purchase and help support this site! Thanks.

Nutri-Cal is Concentrated Dog Food source used for sick animals that cannot eat. 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs body weight will keep your dog alive after you run out of dog food. This is a good standby to have.

Bandanna or scarf for muzzling, bandaging or using to hold your dog if you lose your other equipment. This should be hung on your dog’s pack as a flag for visibility by you at night. A bandanna is one of my favorite pieces of equipment because of their many uses. 

Plastic baggies to waterproof everything in the backpack. All of these items can be rolled or folded small to fit.

A couple of large garbage bags have many uses, as a tent, a rain coat, a sleeping bag or to carry items you find to eat.

A small waterproof container that can hold 10 Q-tips, a few cotton balls, matches, a foot or two of small twine, a razor blade, needle and thread.

Your dog should carry a couple days of food and water for you also, along with a small first aid kit in addition to what you carry in your own bug-out bag survival backpack in case one bag is lost. Click for Emergency Pet Food

There are many great brands of lightweight dehydrated human and pet food in the hunting section of large retailers, like Walmart or Amazon.

Extra light weight clothing can be hung over the dog's backpack in a plastic garbage bag to stay clean and dry.

Thanks for reading and I hope none of you ever have to Bug-out! 


Great News ! 

I have the Family Disaster Dog book available again ! July 2017

Self-published this time at a lower price without the middle man publisher too ! (The publisher was arrested for fraud and went out of business ) 

My edition is only $3.49 and you get all the lessons plus this page and more sent to your reading device or computer. (163 pages)

Get The Ebook Here on Amazon

Now available from Waldorf Publishing my children's book that shows your child how to ask your dog for help to find you and what a child can do when they find themselves lost ! 

Click to see "My Puppy Can Find Me" by Amber Higgins. I have a great illustrator in the UK who did the cartoons too! 

Sign up for the newsletter at the links on the sidebar to the right.

Suggested Bug-out bags to shop for:

Urban Survival Bug Out Bag, Choose from 2 or 4 Person Emergency Disaster Kit, 72-hour, Emergency Zone Brand (4 Person)

PREPPER'S FAVORITE: Emergency Get Home Bag with First Aid Kit, Water Filter, Food, Fire, Tools and Shelter. Ideal Compact Bug Out Bag, Earthquake Kit, EDC or 72 Hr Kit. Tactical Shoulder Bag Model


Follow That Dog !

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
Click Pic to Visit my author page

Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

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