Pet Disaster Planning

The best way to protect your family from the effects of a disaster is to have a disaster plan. If you are a pet owner, that plan must include your pets. If you must evacuate, make sure you find a safe shelter for your pets. Pets left behind can become injured, lost, or ill. So, prepare now for the day when you and your pets may have to leave your home.

Pet Disaster Supply Kit
Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be easily carried
  • Medications, immunization records, and a first aid kit
  • Sturdy leases, muzzles, harnesses, carriers or cages to transport pets safely
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost
  • Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter / pan, and can opener
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian
  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable
Safe Place for Pets
Disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety regulations and other considerations. The only animals allowed in shelters are service animals that assist people with disabilities. Research your sheltering options before disaster strikes.
  • Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets.
  • Ask friends, relatives, or others outside your area if they could shelter your pets in an emergency.
  • Prepare a list of animal shelters, boarding facilities, and veterinarians who could shelter the pets in an emergency.
Before a Disaster Approaches
  • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for your and your pets.
  • Check to be sure your pet disaster supplies are ready to take at a moment's notice.
  • Bring all pets into the house so you won't have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and up-to-date identification tags.
After the Disaster
  • Walk pets on a leash until they become reoriented to their home. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.
  • Watch out for downed power lines and debris that could pose a threat to animals.
  • If pets cannot be found, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be reclaimed. Bring along a photo of your pet if necessary.
  • After a disaster, animals can become aggressive or defensive; monitor their behavior.