Be Prepared

  • Should a disaster occur or appear imminent, and if emergency officials recommend that you stay in your home, it is crucial that you keep your pets with you.  Always bring them inside at the first sign of danger. 
  • Your pets may become stressed during their in-house confinement, so consider crating them for safety, comfort, and to make evacuation easier. Identification such as collars, tags, microchips, and tattoos will increase the chances of your pet’s safe return home should they become separated from you.
  • On the carrier and harness, write your pet’s name, your name and contact information with a permanent marker; include a picture of your pet.  Keep an extra harness for safety, and a crate, cage, or carrier for each pet.
  • Keep copies of your pet’s medical records, feeding and medication requirements, and a recent photo of your family with your pet in a zip-lock bag.
  • Do not evacuate and leave your pets behind in a crate, because they will be rendered helpless unless you return or until someone else reaches them.  Post stickers on your front and back doors that say, “Pets Inside.” 
  • Write number of and types of pets in your home on each sticker.  Should you evacuate with your pets, if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers.
  • Talk to neighbors, friends, and relatives about designating someone to care for pets when emergencies occur.  Ensure that whoever cares for your pets knows your evacuation plan and has an extra set of keys.  If you have multiple pets, consider building an emergency contact list.
  • Call or visit pet-friendly hotels, veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels, and animal shelters outside your area.
  • Know the phone numbers of your local animal control agency, humane society, local Society for the American Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and local emergency veterinary hospital.

Emergency Supplies for Pets

Emergency supplies for pets should be kept easily accessible, clearly labeled, easy to carry, and water-resistant.  Family and friends should know where they are kept.

Items to consider:

  • Extra harness; crate, cage, or carrier for each pet — post your pet’s behavioral or medical issues on the carrier and harness.
  • Seven (7) days’ worth of pet food in a plastic, airtight container — rotate food every two months.
  • Seven (7) days’ worth of drinking water for each pet (specific amount based on individual pets’ needs) in a cool, dark place and replace every two months.
  • Roll of paper towels, liquid dish soap, hand sanitizer, household bleach, a week’s worth of litter, cage liner and/or bedding for your pet.
  • Garbage bags (for clean-up).

Ask your veterinarian for recommendations about what to include in your pet’s first aid kit.

Additional Supplies

  • Dogs: Long leash, blanket, yard stake, toys, chew toys, newspaper.
  • Cats: Pillow case or other animal evacuation sack, harness, leash, blanket, toys, small litter pans.
  • Birds: Catch net, heavy towel, cuttlebone, blanket, or sheet to cover cage, newspaper.
  • Small animals: Salt lick, water bottle, small hide-box, or cardboard tube (for cage).
  • Reptiles: Pillowcase or other animal evacuation sack, warming device (hot water bottle, heating pad), soaking dish.