If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for your animals either!

In an emergency, your animals are dependent on you for their safety and well-being. Your family’s disaster plans must include your pets too, so it is important to learn what to do to keep your beloved pets safe. Here are some tips for evacuating with pets:

Make your pets part of your emergency plan by doing the following:

  • Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.
  • Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian.
  • Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened up-to-date identification. (Many pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.)

Include supplies for your pet in your emergency kit or assemble an emergency kit specifically for your pet. Your kit should include:

  • The name and number of your veterinarian.
  • Medications and copies of medical records (stored in a waterproof container & on the cloud).
    Sturdy leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.
  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.
    Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and a manual can opener if your pet eats canned food.
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, and behavior problems.

Know a Safe Place to Take Your Pets. Most shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations so it is important to:

  • Find out which hotel chains take pets. For example, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, Quality Inn, and Motel-6 typically take pets. To learn more, check out this site from Pets Welcome: https://www.petswelcome.com/pet-friendly-hotels
  • Call ahead for reservations if you know you may need to evacuate.
  • Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters, or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.
  • Although your animals may be more comfortable together, be prepared to house them separately.
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