Emergency Preparedness for Pets

For most people, our pets are almost a part of our family and we take care of them as if they were. But in an emergency or disaster situation, pets may be overlooked in the stress of making sure all human family members are taken care of, or they may be frightened by the confusion around them.

Use the following tips to help prepare yourself and your animals for dangerous situations.
  • When you hold your family preparedness meetings, discuss actions to take to be sure your pets are prepared for emergencies.
  • Place stickers on your doors to let emergency personnel know there are pets in your home.
  • When you prepare your Disaster Supply Kit, be sure to include items for your pets. You might include a couple of items with your important documents, such as photographs of your pet from several angles, a written physical description including any markings or scars, a copy of vaccination records, and other papers to make identification easier if you get separated.
  • If you have to evacuate, be sure to take your pets if you can.
  • If you have to go to a shelter and that shelter allows pets, you must have food and water for your pets, they must stay in carriers or cages, and you must have supplies to clean up after them.
  • To avoid the possibility of not being able to take pets into a shelter with you, you should make advance arrangements with a family member or friend with whom your pets can stay. Be sure that location is in an area not likely to be affected when your home is or that has a shelter room large enough to accommodate all of you.
Extreme Weather & Outdoor Pets & Livestock
For extreme weather situations, be aware of the special needs for outdoor pets and livestock. In extremely cold weather, be sure that outdoor pets and other animals have adequate shelter, warm bedding, plenty of food, and an unfrozen water supply. In very hot weather, make sure they have extra water and a cool, shaded place to rest. Never leave any animal in a car or truck in hot weather!
Dog Being Walked