Are your Pets Ready?

Pets are often full-fledged family members, and any family emergency plan must include them to be truly complete. Many shelters will not permit animals (with the exception of registered service animals), so it is especially important that you have a plan for your pets in case of an evacuation.

  • Make sure your pets all have licenses and ID tags, microchip if at all possible.
  • Ask local shelters and animal clinics if they provide emergency foster care.
  • Arrange with neighbors to care for your pets if an emergency occurs while you are away from your home and cannot return.
  • Know your pets' hiding places so you can find them easily if you need to evacuate.
  • Transport pets in carriers or on leashes during an emergency; this makes them feel more secure.
  • You might want to develop a special “Go Bag” just for your pets – these are some of the items to include: (These items can be placed in a small garbage can with a lid and wheels)
    • A recent photo of your pet (pets) in case they get lost
    • Sturdy leashes and/or carriers
    • Pet food, water, and bowls
    • Cat litter and box
    • Pet toys
    • Contact information for a veterinarian
    • Medical information and records
    • Any necessary medication
    • Plastic bags for clean-up

After an Emergency:

  • Following an emergency, be extra careful when letting your pet loose outdoors and be sure your pet wears an identification tag.
  • Familiar scents and landmarks may have been altered, which may cause your pet to become confused or lost.
  • In addition, beware of other dangers after a disaster, such as downed power lines and debris created by strong winds or rain.