When preparing for an emergency, be sure to include arrangements for your pets. Your emergency preparedness kit should contain provisions for your pets. Know in advance how you will handle your pets if you need to evacuate. If you must leave them behind, make sure they have access to food, water, and shelter.
Preparing to Take Your Pets
- Add pet supplies to your emergency kit, including but not limited to food, a strong leash, a carrier, and veterinary records.
- Make sure your pet’s identification tags are up to date and secured on its collar.
- Understand that many shelters do not allow pets. You may have to board your pet or place it in a shelter prepared for evacuated pets.
- Find out which motels/hotels and shelters will allow pets well in advance of needing them. Consider contacting your local animal shelter for more information.
What to Do with Your Pet During an Emergency
- Bring pets inside immediately. Many times pets run away when they sense danger. Never leave them tied up outside.
- If you are told to evacuate and you can bring your pets:
- If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site to pet’s collar.
- Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
- Take enough supplies and food for at least three days.
- Make sure the carrier is secure.
- Be responsible for your pets by cleaning up after them and making sure they are not causing problems.
- If you are told to evacuate and are ordered not to bring your pets:
- Bring your pet inside. Never leave your pet outside during an emergency.
- Leave plenty of food and water.
- Remove the toilet tank lid and the toilet seat, and brace the bathroom door so they can drink.
- Place a notice on your door that your pet is inside. Include your name, phone number, and the name and phone number of your veterinarian.
What to Do with Your Pet After an Emergency
- Keep close contact with your pet to make it feel safer.
- Keep your pet on a leash when possible, so it stays with you.
- Understand that your pet may have some behavioral changes because of trauma.
- Be responsible for your pet at all times by cleaning up after it and keeping it away from others.
Where to Find Additional Information
- The Humane Society of the United States
- Department of Homeland Security (Ready.gov) & FEMA– http://www.ready.gov/animals