When disaster strikes, being prepared is the best way to keep your family safe– including your pets. There’s no question about it – they ARE family. Your pets depend on you to keep them safe and they can be especially vulnerable when you’re forced to evacuate because of a fire… or batten down the hatches because of extreme weather. No matter how disaster hits your front door, you want to be ready for it – here are some simple steps to help you be prepared.
Step 1: Microchip Your Pet
A microchip is a more permanent form of identification and is highly recommended. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters. See our Identification & Licensing directory to learn more.
Step 2: Update ID Tags
Make sure your pet’s tags are up to date with current contact information: pet name, owner name, and phone number. Be sure to write this information on your pet’s carrier and other belongings as well. See our Identification & Licensing directory to learn more.
Step 3: Assemble Your Emergency Kit
Pick a designated spot in your home where your kit will be easy to grab. Use this comprehensive Pet Disaster Kit Checklist from the CDC to ensure you have everything you could possibly need to keep your pet safe and comfortable.
In addition to the items on the checklist, you may also want to include comfort items that can help your pet remain calm– a pet bed and toys can help relax your pet in stressful situations.
Be sure to include breed/species specific items. Birds, reptiles, livestock, etc. require different needs.
Step 4: Know Who to Contact
Use the Petsguide Emergency Resources directory to find after-hour veterinarians, emergency animal hospitals, and more. Have these addresses and phone numbers on-hand.
Step 5: Choose a Caregiver
If the situation requires your pet to be in someone else’s care, take the time to consider someone who knows your pet and is equipped to take on the responsibility. You can also talk to your local veterinarian or boarding facility about emergency overnight services.
Step 6: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
This sticker alerts first responders that there are pets in your home. Free stickers are available from ASPCA. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.