Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners

Published: September 9, 2021

Emergency Preparedness for Pet Owners

No matter where you live, there’s always the possibility that a natural or human-caused emergency will force you from your home. You may already have an emergency plan and a kit or “go bag” for yourself, but what about your pets? Your pet is an important member of your family, and it should be included in your emergency plan. To prepare for the unexpected, keep your pets in mind as you follow these tips: make a plan, build an emergency kit, and stay informed.

Make a plan

If you have a plan in place for you and your pets, you will likely encounter less difficulty, stress and worry when you need to make a decision during an emergency.

Things to include in your plan:

  • Know what to do with your pet during an evacuation. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets inside. Know a safe place where you can take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
  • Develop a buddy system. Plan with neighbors, friends or relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
  • Have copies of your pet’s vaccination record, and make sure your pet is microchipped if applicable. Keep your address and phone number up to date with your vet, and give them an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • Keep contact information for your local emergency management office or animal control office and shelters on hand in case you become separated from your pet.

Build a kit for your pet

Just as you do with your own emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival. Review your kit regularly to ensure that the contents are fresh. Here are some items to include in an emergency kit for your pet:

  • Food and water. Keep several days’ supply of both. Keep food in an airtight, waterproof container, and have a water bowl to use.
  • Keep an extra supply of the medicine your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
  • First aid kit. Include items appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
  • Backup collar with ID tag and a harness or leash. Have copies of your pet’s registration information in a waterproof container and available electronically.
  • Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier for each pet.
  • Grooming items. Pet shampoo and other items, in case your pet needs some cleaning up.
  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet, a picture will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.
  • Sanitation needs. Include pet litter and litter box, trash bags and other items to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
  • Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit to reduce stress for your pets.

Stay informed

Stay informed of current conditions and know how you will receive emergency alerts and warnings. Download the FEMA mobile app to get weather alerts for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States. Always bring your pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm. For more information about how to prepare your pets, visit www.Ready.gov/pets.

Source: www.ready.gov