Recent fires in Nelson are a sobering reminder that you never know when a disaster can strike. The wellbeing of humans is often foremost in emergency plans but sometimes, emergency personnel are not equipped or trained to support a person with a guide dog. This article share some basic guidelines for starting your own guide dog survival kit.

Items to include:

  • Dog food, enough for 3 days minimum (a can opener for tinned food)
  • Water, enough for 3 days minimum
  • Light weight plastic bowls for food and water
  • Extra leash, collar and dog waste bags
  • Towel or blanket for guide dog to lie on
  • Some basic first aid material to treat minor wounds, remove foreign bodies and stop excessive bleeding etc.
  • Medication and instructions
  • Medical records, vaccination records, and a recent photo of you and your guide dog for easy identification if you become separated
  • An extra cane in case your guide dog is unable to guide you.

Remember to pack light, as you may need to evacuate. A backpack is recommended to keep your hands free. Store all paperwork in a watertight plastic bag or container and don’t forget to regularly replace food, water and medicine. Guide dogs can stay in emergency shelters with their handlers, check with your local council for more information. Emergencies do not always happen when you are at home, so consider having an identical kit at your workplace too.

These are just a few tips. You can find much more information on the Ministry of Primary Industries and Civil Defence websites.

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