Emergency Preparedness Guidelines for Pet Owners


☐ Determine the safest place in your home for your pet during a disaster. The place you select should be away from windows and in an area that is easy to clean.

☐ If you live in a low-lying area that is likely to be evacuated during an emergency, make advance arrangements to stay with a friend or relative who lives on higher ground in a suitable structure and is able to accommodate your pet. Remember, pets are not allowed in evacuation shelters due to public health and safety reasons.

☐ Keep a pet carrier on hand for each pet. The carrier should be large enough to allow your pet to stand up and turn around while inside it. Take the time to familiarize your pet with the carrier.

☐ Be sure your pet has a properly fitted collar and an identification tag on at all times.

☐ Keep a leash on hand to maintain control of your pet should you need to leave your home with your pet during an emergency.

☐ Check with veterinary clinics or your local human society to locate boarding facilities. Visit the facilities beforehand to learn their requirements and determine if they meet your standards. Make sure the kennel has an emergency evacuation plan, and be sure it is out of the immediate hazard area.

☐ Keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date and have the records handy. Many boarding facilities will require proof of current vaccinations.

☐ Keep a current photo of your pet to ensure identification if you are separated during an emergency.

☐ Prepare a Pet Survival Kit.


☐ Bring your pets indoors well ahead of a natural disaster. Do not leave pets outside or tied up.

☐ Prepare an indoor area in which your pet can stay. A good place provides protection from breaking glass, wind and noise. Use a tiled area which is easy to clean, such as the bathroom or garage, and be sure your pet has access to a high place, such as counter tops, in case flooding occurs.

☐ Do not confine a dog and cat together, even if the two are normally friendly.

☐ Keep small pets, such as rabbits, mice and birds, away from dogs and cats.

☐ Leave difficult or aggressive animals in crates or cages to reduce the chance of the animals getting loose.

☐ Leave water for your pets in bathtubs or in sturdy containers that will not spill.

☐ Leave only dry-type foods to prevent overeating.

☐ Use special food dispensers for birds. They must eat daily to survive.

☐ If you are evacuating, it is advised that you take your pet with you. If you could not arrange sheltering for your pet elsewhere, as a last resort, your pet can stay in your car parked at the evacuation shelter. Keep your pet in its carrier, and provide food and water. Remember to leave a car window open slightly to provide ventilation and park in a protected, shady area.


☐ Be extra careful when letting your pet loose outdoors. Familiar scents and landmarks may have been altered causing your pet to become confused and possibly lost. Other dangers after a disaster could include downed power lines and debris created by strong winds or rain.

☐ Make sure your pet wears an identification tag.

  • If your pet becomes lost, call and visit the Humane Society as soon as possible.