Disaster Preparedness for Pets


ALTHOUGH WE ALL HOPE DISASTER WILL NEVER STRIKE OUR FAMILY, things can happen that we are not expecting. That does not mean we shouldn't be prepared "just in case". You do not want to find yourself in a situation without any resources, feeling out of control and unsafe. While this list is meant for your pets, we strongly recommend you use it as a guide for your human family as well. There are also many human checklists available out there as well.


Our Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Pets allows you to be sure you have everything you need in case of a natural disaster. or if an evacuation is necessary.

Food for each pet: Include 3 days of food for each of your pets. If your pets are not on a special diet, a small, unopened bag of dry food and several cans of food work well and stay fresh.

Water: 3 gallons per dog or cat is recommended. A 32 ounce water bottle is helpful to fill for easy access in the car or while traveling

Medications: Keep a separate container of your pets medication in your kit Rotate the stock every couple of months to ensure it is fresh and effective. Use a pill box to store medication for one week.

Waste Bags: Include several waste bags in your kit. These can come in handy for cleaning a litter box, too, and a new bag can be used as a temporary water bowl in a pinch.

A favorite toy: Including a familiar toy can help ease the stress for your pet in the event of an evacuation

Pet Bed, blanket, or mat: Something to keep your pet comfortable and warm. Small blankets and pet mats work best for this as they can be rolled up and easily stored

Crate or Carrier labeled with your name and your pets name(s): Optional for dogs, strongly recommended for cats or small pets. TIP: Using a carrier to store your kit can be helpful for a grab and go situation. You can use a tote bag inside the carrier or even a pillowcase to hold the essentials. It can then be easily removed to allow your pet to be placed inside, and everything you need is ready to go. .

Pet Health information and Vaccine Certificate: Be sure to have copies of important veterinary records, Pet ID information, and Vaccine certificates, just as you would for yourself.

First Aid Kit: Include a small first aid kit with basic necessities. Click here for a list.

Owner Contact Information/Veterinarian Contact Information: Have an information sheet that includes names, phone numbers, and addresses for rescuers or even yourself if you need it in a hurry.

Pet Towel: Use a clean towel to dry your pet, wipe off dirty feet, clean bowls, and more.

Travel Bowls: Invest in a couple of travel bowls for serving food and water. There are many available that fold flat or very small, and are easy to use when traveling.

Leash/Collar: Be sure to include an extra leash and collar in your kit. For cats, a small harness is recommended. We recommend leaving them in the kit at all times. Nylon slip leashes are also handy to have for quick access.

Pocket Pets: We recommend a tall plastic bin for use as temporary shelter. Include 3-5 days of bedding, dry food, and water. Do not place the pet inside with a lid on unless you have air holes. Ask your veterinarian for temporary housing recommendations for your specific type of pet and if a heat source is required. The safety of both you and your pet is crucial when considering how to keep your pet warm.

We strongly recommend getting a microchip for your dog or cat before disaster strikes. It is truly permanent identification. If your pet is separated from you, loses a collar, etc. is all it takes is a scanner from any vet, shelter or rescue, to locate you. It is critical to keep your information updated in the microchip database, and always include a mobile phone number AND an alternate number for a family member or friend that lives outside of your area, as phone service can be limited during a disaster.

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