Pets depend on their owners for safety and protection. When developing your family emergency plan, remember to include your pets. Listed below are some steps you can take to prepare your pets for emergencies:
- Keep in mind that some public shelters do not allow animals; identify evacuation locations that take pets (pet friendly hotels, kennels, veterinary hospital, etc.).
- Develop a "buddy system" with your neighbors, family, and friends, so that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets in your absence.
- Build an animal evacuation kit (talk to your veterinarian about what supplies to include):
- At least a three-day supply of food and water for your pet
- First-aid supplies
- Medicines and medical records
- Crate or pet carrier
- Extra leash or harness
- Sanitation supplies
- A picture of you and your pet together
- Proof of ownership
- Familiar items (toys, treats, blanket, etc.)
- Familiarize your animals with evacuation procedures and cages/carriers.
- Be sure that your animals have identification (collar tag, microchip, etc.); this may help reunite you with your animal(s) if you are separated.
Gather contact information for emergency animal treatment.
Additional sources of information on pet preparedness:
The Humane Society of the United States
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
American Veterinary Medical Association