Prepare Your Pets For Disaster

Prepare Your Pets Before Disaster

Prepare a “go bag” for your pets. Reach out to your local animal shelter for help answering these questions:

Where are the nearest shelters that accept pets during a disaster?

Which hotels in the surrounding area accept pets?

Keep pets fully identified and all applicable tags on them. Microchip them if possible.

Exotic pets require specialized boarding.  Find out where to go from your local veterinarian or SPCA.

Take kennels/crates and other carriers with you. Some shelters require them.

Be sure to have leashes and disposal bags, special toys and blankets, litter. Keep the bag fully stocked with extras and do not try to find everything last minute.

Be sure to know your pet’s medications and have  veterinary records with vaccinations.  Name and number of someone who will take care of your pets either in your home or in theirs.  Be sure to emotionally prepare your pets for disaster by using familiar commands, toys, blankets and you should rehearse with your pet so they feel safe in your care and their surroundings.

During an Emergency

Bring pets indoors immediately.  Animals are easily spooked by impending danger and may run away.  Never leave them tied up outside during a disaster.

If told to evacuate and you can bring pets-

  1. Make sure you have a current photo of you with your pet. If there are unique markers or scars, be sure they are visible on the photo.
  2. Make sure you have 72 hours of food, medication and supplies.
  3. Attached the pet’s owner information on a collar and if possible the name of the shelter.
  4. Bring a leash and or a muzzle as your pet requires. Glow in the dark type items will help you keep tabs in the dark at a location that is unfamiliar to your pet.
  5. Bring an appropriate carrier/container for your pet.  Be sure to include bedding, blankets, accident pads (if required).
  6. Keep close contact with your pet to make it feel safer and calmer.
  7. Be responsible in cleaning up after your pet, keeping pets on leash and changing litter frequently.


Evacuating without your pets

No one wants to imagine it-but if you prepare ahead of time, your pet has the greatest chance for survival.

  1. Bring your pets inside.  Never leave your pet outside during an emergency.
  2. Write on the door or on a sturdy post, pillar on the house with permanent ink or paint that a pet is inside. Leave a note on the outside of the door and the refrigerator as to how rescuers can contact you. You can buy stickers to leave on your door for responders.
  3. Remove the toilet seat and the tank lid and prop something under the bathroom door. If a smaller animal, leave several small bowls of water and food.
  4. Leave food and blankets and toys where they can be reached safely. If in a hurry, leave the go bag open so they can fend for themselves (animal dependent).
  5. Write your last name in the animals ear or place it will not rub off.  Use permanent ink like a Sharpie.


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