What If Disaster Strikes? Emergency Planning for Pets
As Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, and the current tragedies in the Gulf Coast region and Tennessee illustrate, disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Even with the aid of disaster response teams, homes and families were devastated by these destructive eventsand many evacuees lost their companion animals.
With hurricane season just around the corner, the ASPCA reminds you to help keep your family intact by creating an emergency evacuation plan. Even if you dont live in an area thats known for dangerous weather, please take the following simple actions before youre forced to confront a catastrophe.
Have an Evacuation Plan in Place
Plan for the worst-case scenario. Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible, make sure all your pets are wearing proper identification and consider your evacuation route ahead of time. Download our Ready Pets brochure (pdf) on pet-friendly evacuation for more information.
Arrange a Safe Haven
Dont leave your pet behind if youre forced to evacuate. Find out if there are emergency animal shelters in your area. If not, take these steps to keep your pet safe.
Pre-Pack an Emergency Kit
Prepare a go kit of essential pet supplies before disaster strikes, and make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is. The kit should be clearly labeled, easy to carry and should include items such as a pet first aid kit, recent photos of your animal companion and any medications on which his health depends.
Choose a Designated Caregiver
Consider who youd like to act as your pets temporary caregiver should you not make it home in time to retrieve your pet. Make sure the person you choose agrees to take on the responsibility, has a key to your residence and has spent time getting to know your animal companion.
Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
Affix these decals, available for free from the ASPCA website, to the windows of your home to alert rescue officials that a pet lives inside.
Visit the Disaster Preparedness, section of our website to read our complete list of tips available in both English and Spanish.