Imagine a situation where a police officer knocks on your door and tells you to evacuate, due to an accident involving dangerous chemicals. You have cats, dogs and birds.
- Can you gather and crate your pets quickly?
- Can you put all of them in your car safely?
- Do your pets have ID collars, tags or microchips?
- Do you have photographs of each pet?
- Do you have a pet emergency GO KIT for each pet?
- Do you have a place to go that will accept pets?
- Do you have a contingency plan for your pets in case you’re not home?
- Is your house marked to indicate there are pets inside?
Take a moment and make sure your pets have an emergency kit and evacuation plan – just like you and your other family members do.
Remember that pets may not behave normally during an emergency. Just like people, animals can get “stressed” during an emergency. Everyone should practice safe handling of pets.
Plan and Prepare
When a disaster or emergency strikes a neighborhood or community, essential services are often unavailable. Power, water and other utilities may be cut off for a few hours or days. It’s important to have an evacuation plan that includes your pets. They’re an important part of your family. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND!
Here are some pet basics to remember:
- Always keep your pet vaccinations up-to-date.
- Keep a copy of the records.
- ID tags should be securely fastened to a pet’s collar.
- Microchip pets with current information
- Have appropriate sized carriers for each pet.
- Pre-plan locations to stay with your pets or board without you.
Build a Pet Emergency Kit
Each of your pets needs an emergency “GO” kit that contains important supplies for several days.
- Pet First Aid Kit and guide book.
- Two week supply of food and required medications – stored in waterproof container; rotate every 2-3 months.
- “Boarding” sheet – feeding schedule, medications, known allergies, behavior problems for each pet.
- Disposable litter pans (aluminum roasting pans work well)
- Litter, paper toweling and poop bags.
- Garbage bags.
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Extra feeding/water dishes/can opener
- Extra collars/harnesses, ID tags and leashes
- Familiar toys/bedding
- Extra towels, blankets, sheets
Include a waterproof envelope with:
- Photocopies of vaccination and special medical care records.
- Contact info for you, your veterinarian, pharmacy, and alternate caregiver(s).
- Pre-authorization of medical treatment by your veterinarian ID pictures of each animal and of each pet with you.
- Microchip/bird band info.
- Handouts with current pet picture and information should a pet go missing.
Rescue Alert Stickers
If you have pets, you should get a rescue alert sticker. These plastic film “stick-ons” are placed in a window facing the street of your home.
The sticker can include this information:
- Types and number of pets inside
- Your contact number
- Veterinarian name and phone number
- Other important notes
If you leave your home with your pets, write EVACAUATED across the front of the sticker.
There may be times when the emergency does allow one to stay home. Some situations may require you to “shelter- in-place” in your home until danger has passed, example- toxic fumes from a chemical plant fire. In this latter example more planning is needed: Choose a pet-friendly room, preferably with few or no windows; follow instructions given by authorities. Remove any toxic plants. Close off small areas where frightened cats or small dogs could get stuck (such as vents, under heavy furniture).
If you’re traveling with pets, these sites may help you find pet-friendly lodging: