Pet Preparedness

Pet Preparedness

Emergencies come in many forms: fires, earthquakes, floods, and numerous other scenarios. In the event of a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet? Leaving pets out of evacuation plans can put pets, pet owners, and first responders in danger. Even if you try to create a safe place for them, pets left behind during a disaster are likely to be injured, lost, or worse.  Be prepared: make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pet. 

Pet Emergency Kit Items to Include:

  • A pet carrier for each of your pets (write your pet’s name, your name, and contact information on each carrier).
  • Food and water for at least 2 weeks for each pet
  • For cats: litter box and litter
  • For dogs: plastic bags for poop
  • Medications for at least 2 weeks
  • Medical records, including record of vaccination for rabies and other diseases, prescription medications, and medical history.
  • Sturdy leashes or harnesses
  • Microchip number
  • Contact information (cell phone, work phone, home phone) of owner and close relatives or friends

Practice Evacuating Your Pet

  • Train your pets to get in and stay in their carriers by making it a comfortable place.
  • Practice transporting your pet by taking them for rides in a car similar to one you would be evacuating in. If you do not have a car, make arrangements with neighbors, family, and friends. You can also contact your local government to learn about transportation options during a disaster.
  • Know where your pet might hide when stressed or scared. Practice catching your pet, if needed.
  • For cats, you can practice removing your cat from its  hiding spot and using your cat’s carrier, a pillowcase, or a sturdy box — anything to get your cat quickly out of harm’s way.
  • Have your entire family practice evacuating with your pets so everyone knows what to take, where to find the pets, and where to meet.

Tips for Large Animals

  • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
  • Evacuate animals earlier, whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
  • Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers.
  • Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
  • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to a barn or turn them loose outside.

Resources for Animal Preparedness

Prepare Your Pets for Disasters | 

Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit | Healthy Pets, Healthy People | CDC 

Pet Safety in Emergencies | Healthy Pets, Healthy People | CDC

Dog, Cat and Other Pet Friendly Hotels at 

Pet Emergency Kits

 Pet Preparedness