Don’t Forget your Pet! Keep your pet(s) safe during emergencies by including them in your Family Emergency Plan. Download a copy of Plan to Be Ready, which has a whole section on Pet Preparedness.
Note: Preparing farm animals for disasters requires more planning than does preparing household pets. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s “Saving the Whole Family” provides basic information to get you started on planning for farm animals and all pets.
Make a Pet Emergency Kit
Each pet should have an emergency kit which includes:
- 2-Week Supply of Food (Dry and/or Canned)
- 2-Week Supply of Water
- Pet First Aid Kit
- Leash, Collar, Harness, Muzzle
- Feeding Bowls, Can Opener, Spoon
- Liquid Dish Soap and Disinfectant
- Garbage Bags and Paper Towels
- Toys, Blanket and Treats
Make sure you also include items specific to your type of pet:
- For Cats: Disposable Litter Tray with Litter, Scoop
- For Dogs: Newspapers, Pads
- For Birds: Carrier Cover, Mister
- For Critters: Dietary Supplements, Bedding Materials, Exercise Equipment
Each kit should also contain:
- Veterinarian Contact Information, Medical Records, and an emergency supply of any Medications your pet may need.
- ID#, Microchip# or Tattoo Information
- A recent picture of you and your pet together
Plan What You Will Do in an Emergency
At the first warning or sign of a disaster:
- Call to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pet(s).
- Bring pets into the house so you won’t have to search for them if you have to evacuate in a hurry.
- Make sure all pets have identification.
If it’s safe to stay at home:
- Determine in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as glass windows and flying debris. Choose easy to clean areas such as utility rooms and bathrooms as safe zones.
- In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your pets can take shelter.
- Fill bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crisis
If you have to evacuate:
- DO NOT LEAVE PETS BEHIND. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to life-threatening hazards.
- It is possible that shelters will not accept pets because of health and safety regulations, so make sure you determine where you will bring your pets ahead of time.
- If possible, identify places outside the disaster area where you might be able to stay with your pet (or where your pet could be cared for while you are in a shelter).
For more information about Pet Preparedness:
Disaster Preparedness for Veterinarians (lots of information for pet-owners, too!)
Download the free Red Cross “Pet First Aid” App: http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/pet-first-aid-app (an excellent app)