Being Prepared

Pet Preparedness

General Tips

The best survival technique is to prepare a disaster plan ahead of time. If you are a pet owner, this plan must include your pets.

In the event of a disaster that requires your family to evacuate your home, whether for a day or a week, the best way to protect your pets is to evacuate them too.

Pet-Owners should be aware that public shelters for people cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations with the exception of service animals who assist people with disabilities.

Photograph of large dog

So, the first thing you should do is identify pet-friendly shelters. Make a list, including phone numbers.

Some suggestions:

  • Your local county coordinator can tell you if the local jurisdiction has any plans already in place for sheltering pets or domesticated animals.
  • Animal shelters
  • Veterinarians and Pet Clinics
  • Professional Boarding Kennels
  • Pet-friendly motels
  • Friends and relatives outside the affected area

Next, assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit. Your pets have daily needs just like we do.

Keep these essential items in a portable container in an accessible place.

Your kit should include:

  • Food, water and treats
  • Food/water dish
  • Leashes, harnesses and/or carriers
  • Medications and medical records
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost
  • Toys
  • Pet-friendly list of shelters

Other considerations

  • You may not be at home when an evacuation is ordered, so arrange for a neighbor to take your pets to a pre-arranged location. This person must be comfortable with your pets, know where the pet disaster supplies kit is located and have a key to your home. A pet-sitting service may be able to assist.
  • Make sure each of your pets wears a collar with accurate identification tags at all times.
  • Keep all of your pets current on their vaccinations.
  • Snakes can be transported in a pillowcase, but must be transferred to more secure housing soon.
  • Birds, house lizards and small mammals should be transported in a cage or carrier. Depending on weather, include a blanket or plant mister in your kit.
  • If you must evacuate, do not leave your animals behind. If possible, find a shelter location that allows your pet to remain with you.
Photograph of Siamese cat