Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Your Pet's Kit
Include these items in your pet's emergency kit:
  • Food, water and medicines for 5 days
  • Medical and veterinary records
  • Carrier, toys, blanket or bed
  • Litter box and litter
  • ID attached to your pet
  • Pet carrier and/or leash
  • Current photos of pet with physical description
  • Container to carry everything
Find a Safe Place Ahead of Time
Because evacuation shelters generally don't accept pets (except for service animals), you must plan ahead to make certain your family and pets will have a safe place to stay. Don't wait until disaster strikes to do your research.

Hotels & Motels
Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets. Ask about any restrictions on number, size and species. Inquire if the "no pet" policies would be waived in an emergency. Make a list of animal-friendly places and keep it handy. Call ahead for a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave your home.

Outside Contacts
Check with friends, relatives or others outside your immediate area. Ask if they would be able to shelter you and your animals or just your animals, if necessary. If you have more than 1 pet, you may need to house them at separate locations.

Boarding Facilities
Make a list of boarding facilities and veterinary offices that might be able to shelter animals in emergencies, include 24-hour telephone numbers. Ask your local animal shelter if it provides foster care or shelter for pets in an emergency. This should be your last resort, as shelters have limited resources and are likely to be stretched to their limits during an emergency.

In Case You're Not Home
An evacuation order may come, or a disaster may strike, when you're at work or out of the house. If you use a pet-sitting service, it may be able to help, but discuss the possibility well in advance.

Make arrangements well in advance for a trusted neighbor to take your pets and meet you at a specified location. Be sure the person is comfortable with your pets and your pets are familiar with him/her, knows where your animals are likely to be, knows where your disaster supplies are kept and has a key to your home.

Don't Forget ID
Your pet should be wearing up-to-date identification at all times. This includes adding your current cell phone number to your pet's tag. It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area - if your pet is lost, you'll want to provide a number on the tag that will be answered even if you're out of your home.