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Disaster Preparedness

Don't leave your pets behind.


Remember, if a disaster leaves you homeless, it also leaves your pets homeless. If you must evacuate your home, don’t leave your pet behind. Many people leave their pets behind on the mistaken assumption that animals can fend for themselves, but that just isn’t true. That’s why having an emergency plan can make the difference between your pet’s safety and a tragic loss.

Click here for your "Disaster Preparedness" brochure.

Have a Plan

Schedule a household meeting to discuss escape routes, location of supplies, and who will be in charge of each animal in an evacuation situation. Pre-arrange evacuation destinations for you and your animals. Write down emergency contact numbers and an out-of-area contact number. Keep with your emergency supplies.

Ready Your Supplies

Have carriers for each animal, labeled in advance with name, address and emergency numbers.

Carriers should be large enough for pets to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably. Apply a

pet rescue sticker on each entry to your home in case you're not home at time of crisis.

Supplies Checklist:

  • Carrier or crate (one per animal labeled with name and info)

  • Leash, harness and muzzle if needed

  • 1-2 week supply of food in waterproof container

  • 1-2 week supply of bottles water, food and water bowls

  • Sanitation supplies (waste bags, wipes, litter, litterbox)

  • 1-2 week supply of medications labeled with dosage

  • Copy of vet records, license, rabies certificate

  • Current photo of animal with guardian

  • Animal description information including microchip #

  • Pet first aid-kit

  • Towels/blanket or bed

  • Toys, grooming items

When Disaster Threatens

Stick to your plan! Bring animals indoors. Make sure all pets are wearing visible and up to date

identification as well as ensure all pets microchip information is updated.


  • Keep pets under your direct supervision.

  • Stay with your pets to provide comfort and reassurance.

  • Never leave your pet(s) outside.

  • If you bring plants indoors, be mindful of any potential poisonous plants for your pet.


  • Take your pets with you! Identify before-hand on pet-friendly options for you.

  • Keep dogs securely leashed when out of carriers.

  • Keep small pets in carriers.

  • Make sure to bring printed copy of medical records, any medications, and have up-to-date identification.


  • Inspect your home and yard for dangers before allowing your pets in.

  • Walk dogs on a leash and let cats become re-oriented room by room.

  • Be patient: confusion and abnormal behavior is common.

Image by Baptist Standaert

More questions about disaster prep?

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