Don't Forget Your Pets in an Emergency
In many households, pets are important members of the family – and emergencies don’t just affect people, they also affect pets. Your pets depend on you for their safety. It is important not to overlook them while creating your emergency plan and supply kits.
Develop a plan with friends and neighbors who can take care of your pets if a disaster strikes when you are away from home and unable to return. Make sure your pet’s collar has an up-to-date ID tag and consider microchipping them to ensure reunification.
Many people leave their pets behind when they have to evacuate. Pets cannot care for themselves if left alone in your home for days! Emergency shelters may not allow pets, with the exception of service animals such as Seeing Eye Dogs. You have to plan ahead to locate a pet-friendly shelter or hotel.
Just as you created a family emergency supply kit, consider the same type of survival supplies for your pets. You may need separate shelter-in-place and evacuation kits.
- A three to seven day supply of food and bottled water with bowls. Moistened or canned food is preferred so your pet will need to drink less water. Include a can opener for canned pet food
- Medications, medical records and veterinarian information in a waterproof container. Include a list of medical and/or behavioral issues.
- An extra collar with ID tags
- Sturdy leashes and/or carriers. Crates should be big enough for the pet to stand up and turn around.
- Sanitation items, including litter and litter box for cats
- A photo of you and your pet in case they are separated from you. On the back write name, age, breed, sex, spayed or neutered, and tag information
- Written information which includes your name, address, and that of a friend or relative at a different location (in case you have evacuated your home)
- Emergency Pet Preparedness (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- How to Protect Your Pets (CDC)
- Humane Society: Disaster Center (including preparedness tips for pets, horses and livestock)
- Pet Preparedness Brochure (Ready.gov)
- Pet First Aid App (Red Cross)
- Pet Preparedness Social Media Toolkit (Ready.gov)