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Planning for your pets during an emergency or a disaster is equally as important as planning for your family members. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. 

When making an Emergency Plan for your Pets:

  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets (NOTE: Service animals are not considered pets and will be allowed into shelters with their owners).
  • Buy a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet, in case of an emergency, so if he panics, he can't escape.
  • Make sure your pet is always wearing an ID containing his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs.
  • Keep a pet emergency kit with the following items:
    • Your pet’s identification and medical records, vaccinations in particular, stored in a waterproof container and keep a pet first aid kit handy
    • Enough water to last for 3 to 7 days
    • Enough canned/dry food for 3 to 7 days (get pop top cans or have a can opener)
    • Current photos of your pets in case they become lost
    • Disposable litter trays (aluminum pans are perfect) for cats
    • Litter or paper towels
    • A proper fitting muzzle
    • A two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires
    • Your pet’s bed and toys, if you can easily take them with you
  • In the case of evacuation, evacuate with your pets. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance for your pets. Do NOT leave your pets behind!
  • Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

For more information on emergency planning for pets, visit:

Pet and Animal Emergency Planning