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Pet Disaster Preparedness Plan



June is pet preparedness month. As hurricane season is right around the corner, lets talk about how to prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters. Your pets are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan. To prepare for the unexpected follow these tips with your pets in mind:

  • Make a plan.

  • Build an emergency kit.

  • Stay informed.


Make a Plan:

If you have a plan prepared for yourself and your pets, you are likely to face fewer challenges, stress, and concerns when making decisions in an emergency. Remember, if local authorities advise evacuation, your pets should evacuate with you to ensure their safety. Leaving them behind could lead to them getting lost, injured, or worse.

In times of disasters or emergencies, it is crucial to have a plan in place for your beloved pets.


Here are some essential steps to ensure their safety:


  • Ensure you have an evacuation plan for your pet in place: Many public shelters and hotels may not accommodate pets. Identify a safe location for your pets in case of disasters or emergencies.

  • Have your emergency contacts written down: Keeping an emergency list in your wallet or car is ideal just incase of phone troubles. This is also helpful if you were to ever crash or get hospitalized. I personally have emergency contacts posted on my home and car doors so that authorities can call if ever needed.

  • Establish a buddy system.  Coordinate with neighbors, friends, or family members to ensure that someone can take care of or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

  • Prepare an emergency kit for your pet: Essentials like food, water, medications, and comfort items.

  • First aid kit and evacuation back pack: having a first aid kit can be helpful in many situations. For large dog owners, I highly recommend having a evacuation backpack incase your pet gets injured and cant escape without aid.

  • Get your pet microchipped. Keep your contact details updated, including an emergency contact outside your immediate area.

  • Reach out to your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office: Seek additional guidance and information on caring for your pet during emergencies if you are unsure.

Build a Kit for Your Pet

Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, such as food and water. Have two kits, one larger kit if you are sheltering in place and one lightweight version for if you need to evacuate.  Review your kits regularly to ensure that their contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

Here are some items you may want to include in an emergency kit for your pet:


  • Food. Keep several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container.

  • Water. Store a water bowl and several days’ supply of water.

  • Medicine. Keep an extra supply of the medicine your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.

  • First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.

  • Collar with ID tag and a harness or leash. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Have copies of your pet’s registration information and other relevant documents in a waterproof container and available electronically.

  • Traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet.

  • Grooming items. Pet shampoo, conditioner and other items, in case your pet needs some cleaning up.

  • Sanitation needs. Include pet litter and litter box (if appropriate), newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.

  • A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet.

  • Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.


By following these steps and being prepared, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your furry companions during challenging times.

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