Guide to Preparedness Now - Remember your Pets

Emergency Preparation for Pets

Before an emergency/disaster strikes make preparations for the furry members of your family.  Your furry-family-members will likely need some reassurance.  If they are prone to becoming over-anxious keep "calming" medication handy.  In addition, a favorite toy and/or snack can help easy the anxiety. In the event that you and your family are forced to leave your home it is important to know what you are going to do with the furry-members.

Before an emergency/disaster strikes:

  • Place a rescue alert sticker on the front & back doors to alert rescue workers that a pet is inside the home

  • If you have advance warning of a possible disaster or severe storm, keep your pets inside with you so you won't have to look for them if you are forced to leave your home.

  • Make sure your pets are wearing collars and can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag.

  • Have copies of current vaccination and medical records for each animal

  • Find a place for your pets:

    • Contact hotels and motels outside of your immediate area ask if "no pet" policies could be waived in an emergency.
    • Ask friends, relatives, or others outside of the affected area whether they could shelter your animals. 
    • Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency; include 24-hour phone numbers. 

    • Contact local animal shelters.  Ask if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster.

    • Keep a list of "pet friendly" places, including their phone numbers, with other disaster information and supplies. If you have notice of an impending disaster, call ahead for reservations.

As a last resort, if you absolutely must leave your pets behind,

  • Prepare an emergency pen in the home that includes a three-day supply of dry food and a large container of fresh water. 

  • Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include veterinarianís contact information.

If you are evacuating:

  • If you must evacuate during an emergency/disaster, it is best to take your pets with you.

  • Unfortunately most emergency shelters can't accept pets, except for service animals such as dogs for the visually impaired, so you must plan ahead.  Before any emergency/disaster strikes, decide if your pet(s) will be going to an animal hotel, sheltering in-place with the family, or staying at another home.  Make arrangements ahead of time.

Create a "Bug Out" bag for each pet.  Keep it next to a portable kennel.

  • While you're at it include pet supplies (leash,, food, and water)

  • Sturdy leashes and harness (harness it better option than a collar)

  • Food, potable water and medicine for at least one week

  • Non-spill bowls, manual can opener and plastic lid

  • Plastic bags, litter box and litter

  • Recent photo of each pet

  • Names and phone numbers of your emergency contact, emergency veterinary hospitals and animal shelters

  • Copy of your petís vaccination history and any medical problems

If you are hunkering down, prepare a pet survival kit and a Pet First-Aid Kit. 
  • At least a 1-2 week supply of food for all pets
  • At least 2-5 gallons of water for each pet
  • Have a current photo of your pet to include with your family emergency photos.
  • A safety harness and leash, and/or carrier
  • 2 weeks worth of medication for each animal (if applicable).
  • Can opener
  • Food dishes
  • Cat litter/pan or doggie pads

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