When disaster strikes, whether it's people or pets, preparation makes all the difference. If conditions aren't safe for you, they're not safe for them. Take a few minutes to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit for yourself and your pet.
Don't be caught off guard! Disasters rarely allow time to plan, when an emergency arises, you'll need a plan. Prepare now in the event you are forced to evacuate your home. Below, you'll find important disaster-planning recommendations to keep your pets safe.
License and Microchip Your Pet
In the event that you become separated from your pet, make sure your pet's licenses are up to date and your pet has been microchipped. This makes it easier for local authorities to help reunite pets and their owners. Learn more about microchip services in our area.
Have a Disaster Kit
Just like having an emergency supply kit for you and your family, make sure to have one for your pet, too. Stock up on non-perishables well ahead of time, and have everything ready to go at a moment's notice. Keep everything accessible and stored in sturdy containers (duffel bags, storage bins/containers, etc.) that can be carried easily. Pet food should be stored in air-tight containers and refreshed every 6 months.
A basic disaster kit should include food, water, any medications and medical records, pet toys, bedding, litter and litter box for cats, pet carriers, leashes, current photos of pets (should you become separated), and the name of your veterinarian should you need vaccination records.
Learn more about emergency planning for pets from our friends at Banfield. Check out what should be included in your emergency kit with information from the Red Cross and the CDC.
Where to Stay after a Disaster
If you stay home, make sure it is safe
If your family and pets must wait out a storm or other disaster at home, identify a safe area inside of your home where you can all stay together. Make that area animal-friendly:
- Close off or eliminate unsafe nooks and crannies where frightened pets may try to hide.
- Move dangerous items such as tools or toxic products.
- Be sure to close your windows and doors, stay inside, and follow the instructions from your local emergency management office.
If you need to relocate
Should you need to evacuate, plan to take your pet with you and call ahead to find out which emergency shelters allow you to bring animals. If you will be staying in a hotel or motel, here are a list of online resources that can assist you in finding pet-friendly options:
Be Ready for Everyday Disasters
From icy road conditions to extreme heat, your pet may need immediate care when you can't get there.
Find a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member and give him or her a key to your house or barn. Make sure this back-up caretaker is comfortable and familiar with your pets (and vice versa) and knows your pets' whereabouts and habits. Let your back-up caretaker know where your pets' food is and where you normally feed them and keep their water bowl, and if they need any medication. If you use a pet-sitting service, find out in advance if they will be able to help in case of an emergency.