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Owner Resources

Disaster Preparedness 

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are simple steps you can follow to make sure you’re ready before the next disaster strikes.


Rescue Alert Sticker

This sticker will let rescuers know how many pets are inside your home as well as your vet contact information. It is recommended to be placed on or near your front door. You may be able to find these stickers at your local pet store or you can order them for free from the ASPCA website.


Have a Travel Plan

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:  Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities. Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets. Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Designate Caregivers

When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own; you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility. When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successful cared for animals in the past.

Emergency Supplies & Kit

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. A few things to make sure of: Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier. The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters. Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.

Example of what your pet's emergency kit should include:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)

  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)

  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)

  • Litter or paper toweling

  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant

  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up

  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls

  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash

  • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)

  • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)

  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet

  • Flashlight

  • Blanket

  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)

  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter

  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner

Items to include in your own emergency kit: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

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