Pet Planning

For many of us, our pets are considered part of our family.  It is just as important to prepare for them in the event of an emergency situation.  Include items for them in your Emergency Disaster Supply Kit.  Have a plan of where you and your pets can go in the event that you may be evacuated.

Prepare

- Include supplies for your pet in your Emergency Disaster Supply Kit.  

- Be sure to remember food, water, food and water dishes, medicines your pet may regularly take, and your pet's medical records.  

- Talk with your veterinarian about creating a pet first aid kit.  This kit can include items such as cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tic medications, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, and saline solution.  

- Your pet should always be wearing a collar with identification tags and rabies tags.  You should also keep a backup leash, collar, and ID tags in your kit.  

- Include copies of your pet's registration documents, adoption papers, vaccination documents, and medical records (these should be kept in a plastic bag or waterproof container).  Talk with your vet about permanent identification such as microchipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database.  

- If you need to evacuate make sure you have a pet crate or carrier that is big enough for your pet to stand up in, turn around, and lie down.  It needs to be sturdy, safe, and comfortable.  

- Don't forget about sanitation. Include pet litter and a litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, and trash bags.  

- Include a picture of you with your pet so if you get separated from your pet you have something to help document ownership and others will be able to use the picture to help identify your pet.  Include detailed information about the species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.  

- Pets can be stressed too.  Include favorite toys, treats, and bedding in your kit to keep your pet as comfortable as possible.

Plan

Assess any situation you may find yourself in.  Use whatever you may have on hand to take care of yourself and ensure your pet's safety.  

- The first important decision is whether you should stay put or get away.  It is important to plan for both possibilities.  

- Watch television, listen to the radio, or check the internet for updates and instructions on whether you should stay put or evacuate.  

- Consider family who will be willing to take in you and your pet.  Other options include hotels/motels that allow pets or boarding facilities (such as a kennel or a veterinary hospital).  Find out before an emergency happens if any of these facilities are in your area and if they would be possible options for your and your pet.  

- Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends, or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pet if you are unable to do so.  Make sure your pet care buddy knows your evacuation plans and show them where your emergency pet supply kit is.  

- Designate specific locations (one in your immediate neighborhood and one in another neighborhood farther away) to meet at in the event of an emergency.  

- Make a list of contact information and addresses of area animal control agencies including Humane Societies, ASPCA, and Emergency Veterinary Hospitals.  Keep one copy in your wallet and another in your Emergency Pet Supply Kit.  

- Obtain "Pets Inside" stickers and place them on your doors or windows.  Include on the sticker information  on the number of pets in your home and the types of pets you have; this will help alert firefighters and rescue workers.  Consider putting a phone number on the sticker of where you can be reached in an emergency.  

- If you are being evacuated and time permits, remember to write the words "Evacuated with Pets" across the stickers.

Stay Informed

Some of the things that you can do to prepare for the unexpected are the same, regardless of the emergency.  

- Develop a Plan and Create a kit.  

- Stay informed about what might happen and what is currently happening.  

- If you do not have one, purchase an NOAA weather radio-most electronic stores sell them.  

- Be knowledgeable about what types of emergencies can happen in your area.  These can include tornadoes, winter storms, flooding, extreme heat, hurricanes, wild fires, chemical release, etc.  Make a plan that fits your needs.  

- Remember to follow instructions from authorities that are working the scene of the incident.  

- Click the button below to see more information about how you can be more prepared for your pets in the event of an emergency.

Planning for your Pets