Download and print the above document before disaster strikes.
It’s not a matter of if, but when. Make a plan for evacuating and taking care of pets in the event of a disaster. Animals need emergency supplies, too. You should always plan to evacuate with your pets. Pack a kit to sustain yourself, family members and pets for at least 72 hours, and remember to rotate kit stock often.
Why is it important to have a plan for both people and pets?
Pet owners have additional challenges when an evacuation is required, and share a natural instinct to not leave pets behind. Personal, community and state plans to support animal evacuation and sheltering are essential in protecting both people and pets.
Who is responsible for my pets?
You are the person responsible for your pets.
Where can I take pets if I’m evacuated?
Make a list of friends and family who would be willing to take your pets on a temporary basis. Other locations include veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels and public evacuation shelters. Some hotels allow pets (www.petswelcome.com).
Can my pet stay with me if I go to a public evacuation shelter?
Pet owners should evacuate with their animals whenever possible. Many communities are working on plans to co-locate temporary emergency animal shelters near public evacuation shelters. This means that in some cases, depending on resource availability, animals would be staying near their owners, but not sharing the same space. Owners may be expected to help care for their animals at such shelters. Depending on circumstances, it may be more feasible for the community to shelter pets at local animal facilities, such as animal shelters, kennels or veterinary hospitals.
What if I have a service animal?
Service animals are animals that provide assistance for a medical disability. They are not considered to be pets and will be allowed to stay with their owners.
What if I’m not home when my area is evacuated?
Create a “buddy plan” with nearby relatives, friends or neighbors to help each other with animal evacuation. Make sure your “buddy” has written permission to care for your animals and access to your pet emergency kit and kennels. If you need assistance with pet evacuation, you may contact the local animal control agency or humane society to request evacuation assistance for your pets as soon as possible. Place a clearly visible window sticker in your window to indicate the type and number of pets. Make sure to keep this up to date as inaccurate information could endanger fire/emergency personnel.
How should I prepare my pets?
- Keep pets up to date on preventative healthcare.
- Keep copies of all vaccinations/health records.
- Record contact information for your veterinarian.
- Be able to identify your pets:
- Microchip implantation is an excellent way to identify pets, but make sure the chip is registered to your current address.
- Take photographs of you and your pet together.
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar or harness with identification tags.
- Give backup copies of essential identification information to someone out of the area.
How should I transport my pets?
Have one airline kennel or cage per pet. Mark the kennel with your name, address, phone and an alternate contact. Make sure kennels are large enough to allow your pet to stand up and turn around, and to accommodate the pet and food and water bowls. Familiarize your pets with sleeping in the kennel/cage. Kennels for cats should be large enough to accommodate a small litter box. Pillow cases will work for transporting cats in an emergency.
What if I have pets other than dogs and cats?
Pets such as rabbits, rodents, ferrets, hedgehogs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and others will have specific needs. Make sure you have appropriate travel cages, bedding and special foods, along with the environmental controls for those pets needing special heat and humidity conditions.
Pet Supply Checklist
- Pack a kit to sustain yourself, family members and pets for at least 72 hours, and rotate kit stock often.
- Pet food and water for at least three days
- Can opener, spoons
- Leashes or harnesses
- Treats o Muzzle (if needed)
- Leather gloves and towels (for handling upset pets)
- Copies of up-to-date vaccination records
- Grooming supplies
- Collars with tags and/or microchip information
- Paper towels, plastic trash bags and a bottle of spray cleaner/disinfectant
- Photos of you with your pet (both digital and paper)
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Current sticker on house window with pet list for fire/emergency personnel
- List of animal emergency contacts (animal control, animal shelter, veterinarians, etc. – see form on next page)
- Cat litter and litter pan
- Poop scooper
- Pet first aid
Important Pet Information Evacuation Plan Details
_____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________
Owner’s Work Phone:
Pet Shelter Options Local Animal Shelter:
Pet Friendly Hotels:
Neighbor/Others with Pet Care Permission
Neighbor Name and Phone:
Out of Town Contact Name and Phone: