Pet Emergency Prep


Emergencies come in many forms: fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of extreme weather or 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 prep
 

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Before an Emergency

To get started, familiarize yourself with the types of disasters that could affect your area and consider your options for providing care for your pet(s). Disasters can happen without warning, so be prepared:

  • Make sure your pet(s) wear collars and tags with up-to-date contact information and other identification.

  • Microchip your pet(s) – this is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your pet are reunited if you are separated. Always be sure to register the microchip with the manufacturer and keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company.

  • Keep a leash and/or carrier near the exit.

  • Make sure you have proper equipment for pets to ride in the car (carriers, harnesses, pet seatbelts).

  • Prepare a Pet Disaster Kit so evacuation will go smoothly for your entire family. Ask your veterinarian for help in putting together your pet’s veterinary records.

Make a Plan

  • Plan where you and your pet will stay in case you need to evacuate your home. Pets may not be allowed in local shelters, unless they are service animals. Many disaster evacuation centers (such as Red Cross evacuation centers) do not accept pets and other animals.

  • Identify shelters or out-of-town friends or relatives where your pets and other animals can stay.

  • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter and in the case you are unable to return home right away.

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home during an emergency. Ask a trusted neighbor who can check on your animals and can evacuate your animals if necessary.

  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter and add the veterinarian’s contact information to your emergency kit.

Create an emergency kit for your pet

Prepare an emergency kit for your pet ahead of time.

  • Purchase 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 relative or friends

Practice evacuating your pet