Do you have an emergency plan for your pet?

March 12, 2011

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Storms, Floods, Power outages, Fires, these can happen at anytime. Are you prepared?

Do you have a plan for your pets in case of a natural disaster or any emergency?

First and foremost: Put your pets in your will. Be sure to let  family and friends know to take care of them in case you perish or are not able to care for them anymore.

What if you are not home when disaster hits? Have a designated person (a neighbor, nearby relative or a trusted friend) ready to grab them in case something happens if you are not home. Let them know where your emergency kit is stored.

Keep a conspicuous sign on your windows or anywhere outside your house letting first responders know you have pets in your house. Be sure to have detail information as well as your cell phone numbers clearly visible.

What if you are in an accident and your pets are home alone? Keep a pet card in your wallet.

Here is a short list of the most important things to have on hand and ready to go in a large plastic bin clearly labeled in your garage or carport. (remember to refresh every 3 months if not used). 

  • Food and treats: At least 3-5 day supply of food in airtight, waterproof containers.
  •  Drinking water for the entire family including pets.
  • Bowls for food and water. Current photos and physical description of your pets, including details on markings. Id Tags, Be sure to update microchip information.
  •  Medications, vaccination records and pet first aid supplies.
  • Don’t forget the leashes, harnesses and a carrier. If you don’t have a carrier, it would be wise to invest in one. Your pet can stay with you as long as it is in a crate in most shelters. Be sure it is big enough for dog to sleep in comfortably.
  • Toys for both dogs and cats are crucial in order to keep them busy on long trips or long wait time.
  • Poop bags, poop bags, poop bags. Keep rolls of them handy.
  • Wet wipes, towels and a soft blanket.
  •  For cats: An extra bag of litter, litter box and carrier large enough for transport.
  •  Remember to have your name and cellphone number on all items in case you get separated.
  • Most of all keep in mind that your pet is as scared as you are if not worse. Be sure to reassure them with affection as often as possible while in transit or long periods of wait time.
  • Ask your vet ahead of time for sedation medication to have on hand in case you have a panicky pet.

Let common sense kick in for your entire family including your pets and create your plan now!

Useful links with great information to help you prepare:

Ready to print pet cards, emergency signs & more here:

Written by: Lucia Jones/Social Media Coordinator Volunteer